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Subject: Re: The most influential opera to impact our own time is:
From: James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 25 Jan 2018 13:32:11 -0500
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Except in the (IMHO faux Wagner) music by John Williams and perhaps some 
others, where is Wagner's musical influence felt today in modern popular culture? 
Where is this road you mention and who is travelling it?

If Wagner is influencing modern culture today it's through his storytelling in the 
realm of imitative pop stories like The Lord of the Rings, The Game of Thrones and 
even in Video Games, its fun to imagine how he would have operated in the video 
field. Wagner's Ring is one of the fountainheads of the world of Fantasy 
entertainment for sure (the story, his dragon, not the music). But where did Tristan 
lead?

Sorry to say, but I doubt many under 40 people, who aren't in the classical music 
business, know anything about Tristan und Isolde or would even recognize the title 
and for such a famous work, such a titanic and incomparably gorgeous masterwork, 
it is remarkably scarce in live performances these days. How many subsequent 
works carried on or imitated Tristan und Isolde? Maybe that deadly box office 
poison bore Pelleas et Melisande? (Talk about a road to nowhere).

We are a long way from the days when major writers like Bernard Shaw and Willa 
Cather passionately wrote about Wagner and operas like Tristan und Isolde.

What are the traditional operas that really matter to the general public today? I 
would suggest that even La Boheme is rapidly losing its once iron clad box office 
appeal.  Perhaps in the end, the lone survivor will be Carmen.

James Camner

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