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Subject: Re: Richard Wagner Museum in Venice
From: Rcfgodoy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rcfgodoy <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 23 May 2017 12:40:28 -0400
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I had the good fortune of finding out about the museum before my trip to Italy the summer of 2011, during which I visited Puccini's house in Torre del Lago-Puccini and Verdi's house/farm near Busseto (both still owned by descendants of each composer).  In fact, that trip wasn't going to include Venice, but I adjusted the schedule so I could visit the museum.  Back then they had a few days of the week you could schedule your visit, although still restricted in number of hours and visitors.  It was the hardest to schedule, along with the Vinci's Last Supper and the Vatican Necropolis.


As to the museum, it is housed in three adjoining rooms on the floor Wagner occupied until his death.  Most of the furniture and decor are of the period, but not part of what the Wagner's were using during their stay; but they do have some things, if I recall a piano, plus the books and manuscripts the museum has been collecting through the years.  The didn't allow photography - so I only have my memory to work from - but I enjoyed visiting it very much.  I visited Wahnfried 25 years ago, and after that one has undergone major renovations, changes, and additions - it's time to go back.  I would also want to visit Tribschen in Lucerne.  Got to save $$$.


Raúl in Miami



-----Original Message-----
From: Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tue, May 23, 2017 12:07 pm
Subject: Richard Wagner Museum in Venice

Dear Listers,

Earlier this month in Venice, on numerous occasions I sailed by the Palazzo Vendramin-
Calergi on the Grand Canal in public “vaporetti,” the city-owned boats that replace buses 
in that aquatic city where motor traffic is impossible.  This gorgeous Renaissance palace 
(built 1480-1509) was home to Richard Wagner, his family (Cosima and four children — 
Daniela von Bülow and Isolde, Eva and Siegfried Wagner), and the household’s “servitù” 
(domestics) from 16 September 1882 until his death in the Palazzo on 13 February 1883.

After many changes of ownership, the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi was purchased by the 
Comune di Venezia in 1946 and has been home to the city-run Casinò di Venezia since 
1959.  The Palazzo boasts a private dock on the Grand Canal where well-heeled gamblers 
can arrive in their gondolas, private boats, or water taxis.

My guidebooks to Venice — all five of them — did mention that Richard Wagner died 
there, but *not one* of these guidebooks mentioned a detail that I found out only 
yesterday, namely that the Palazzo, in addition to the Casino, houses a Richard Wagner 
Museum.  According to Wikipedia, the Museum holds the Josef Lienhart Collection of rare 
documents, musical scores, signed letters, paintings, records and other heirlooms. The 
holdings allegedly constitute the largest private collection dedicated to Wagner outside of 
Bayreuth.

I am furious that *none* of my guidebooks, including the “DK Eyewitness Travel” guide to 
“Venice and the Veneto” (normally very good) and the Italian-language “Venezia e il suo 
territorio” of the Touring Club Italiano, saw fit to mention the existence of this Museum.  
It was only yesterday that I found out about it while looking up the Palazzo Vendramin-
Calergi on Wikipedia.

I guess this goes to show how low opera rates in the minds of the people who write these 
guidebooks.

One reason, perhaps, why none of my guidebooks mentioned this museum is that it is 
open only on Saturday mornings “by appointment only.”  That does considerably restrict 
access to the Museum by most visitors, who are typically on a tight schedule.

Have any of the other Listers had the opportunity to visit this Museum?  Was it worth the 
effort?  Should I make a point of seeing it if I have the opportunity to visit Venice again ?

Thanks and all the best,

Alain

Alain Letort
Washington, D.C.
Des Ungeheuers Höhle 

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