Evgeny Nikitin – jumped or pushed – does the right thing and vacates Bayreuther Festspiele’.
Where else but in Bayreuth, – with its very sinister dark past and Nazi symbolism, would a ‘sin of youth’ – as his Nazi tattoo has been described – stop a singer from participating in a major cultural event like the Bayreuther Festspiele’ . http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16118550,00.html
But the ‘sin of youth’ of the musician involved – the Russian baritone Evgeny Nikitin – would under normal circumstances probably only have caused a frown or some nasty letters to the editor but for Bayreuth this is different ……and rightfully so!
The Russian baritone has since, and unconvincingly tried to feign ignorance by saying that the symbols had ‘absolutely no political significance’ for him but were rather ‘spiritual’ in nature. [Sic!]
It is patently absurd for a Russian – where over 26 million of its citizens were murdered under this ‘spiritual’ symbol and where neo-nazis are now active – to be able to say this with a straight face and expect people to believe him.
Evgeny Nikitin presence has been made intolerable because of his Nazi tattoos – if ever evidence was needed that tattoos are s sign of low intelligence – then here is some more proof.
The ‘Bayreuther Festspiele’ is an annual music festival held in Bayreuth in south eastern, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. It was no-one less than Herr Wagner himself who had conceived of the idea to promote and showcase his own works in a unique and special festival.
Because of the association of his music with the Nazi regime -rightfully or wrongly… see Mini-biography below – it has been a must for all activity surrounding the festival to utterly and completely detach itself from any Nazi associations. And to their credit they have done this and this is as it should be.
In particular the festival was to provide an opportunity to perform and hear his monumental works – the opera cycle ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ and his last opera Parsifal -which would otherwise perhaps have never been performed during his own lifetime at all.
The theatre has many architectural innovations in order to accommodate the very large orchestras and chorus for which Wagner’s lengthy operas are well known. Wagner also had his own particular vision about the staging of his works.
All performances take place in the specially designed Bayreuth Festspielhaus – personally supervised designed by – you guessed it – Richard Wagner.
The South Korean Baritone Samuel Youn will take over in the title role of ‘The Flying Dutchman’ which is to be performed six times during this year’s festival that runs from July 25 to August 28. http://www.wagneropera.net/Bayreuth/2012-Bayreuth-Festival-Programme.htm
See also the English Telegraph newspaper - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/opera/
This blog writer…… while certainly very anti-nazi ……is certainly not anti-Wagner!
Reprinted below is our birthday greetings for Wagner from a blog article from 22nd May this year! -
Richard Wagner was a German composer, perhaps he was ’THE’ German’ composer – at least that is what he would have thought – or put otherwise - ”Who was Richard Wagner’s favorite composer?” – Answer – Richard Wagner!
He would turn 199 years old today if that were possible- but it isn’t and instead we have his music and how wonderfull that can be!
But love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him and we celebrate this very great German artist – who was a rare musical personality and single-handedly changed and modernized the world of opera.
After 200 years we are still all talking about him – and to paraphrase Oscar Wilde - better to be talked about than not to be talked about! http://thelastverista.wordpress.com/tag/verdi-and-wagner-200th-anniversary-for-2013/ and http://thelastverista.wordpress.com/tag/verdi-and-wagner-200th-anniversary-for-2013/
Wagner’s followers -known as Wagnerians or Wagnerites – have in true Teutonic tradition and Germanic formation - created for themselves international societies dedicated to the life, works, and operas of the man Richard Wagner – some would say misery loves company! http://www.wagnersociety.org/
His opponents just joke about him or just yawn when his name is mentioned – however there is a lot of envy involved also. Rossini said famously that ‘Wagner had wonderful moments, but dreadful quarters of an hour’ and the left-wing Berliners, Paul Hindemith and Hans Eisler even parodied his music.
But while no one would want to diminish the reputation of Rossini – the famous part-time chef – he just is not in the same league as Richard Wagner.
Giacomo Puccini perhaps hit the nail on the head when, having just heard a Wagner opera, leaving the opera house turned to his companion and said about Wagner “ ….compared to this man……….we are all just a bunch of organ-grinders!”
These are jokes, and there are many - about Wagner as a person. They are told about him because he was a very vain man and easy to make & poke fun at – he took himself all too seriously and thus he was an easy target.
He was by all accounts not an easy-going type human being but as an artist he took his work very seriously and for example NEVER forgave the French for a particularily nasty display of an audience public at one of his opera premiers in Paris. His reaction in this particular case was completely justified.
Johannes Brahms was the only composer who could challenge Wagner’s de-facto “most- important- living- composer” status – and Wagner was only too aware of this. When a new symphony of Brahms’s was first introduced, he immediately and stealthily appeared ‘incognito’ in a music store to buy a copy of the score – he did not want others to know he was actually dying to get his hands on the score!
Later Wagner used all his charm to obtain an original manuscript of his back from Brahms – an inveterate hobby collector of original Bach, Beethoven and Mozart musci manuscripts. Brahms agreed to exchange it for another Wagner manuscript without any haggling. It is not sure that so much charm was really needed because above all Brahms was a wonderful and warm personality loved by all who knew him – in fact the complete opposite of how one would have regarded Wagner!
However much better known are his anti-Semitic views and these do leave a particular blemish on this man’s reputation – in spite of the fact that many others were in his day anti-Semitic. This is not to condone it but only to relativize it in historical context and that Wagner was unfortunately not at all unique in this prejudice.
His anti-Semitism was pragmatic, selective and opportunistic- as long as it did not conflict with his musical needs. He often used Jewish conductors of the time to premier his sometimes difficult operas because he admitted that they were the best conductors around.
It is also completely unjust to associate him in anyway with the National Socialists and Hitler, even though this is consistently done and his music is still artistic opprobrium in the state of Israel – Daniel Barenboim’s famous attempts not withstanding. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1428634.stm
This in spite of the fact that he had nothing at all to do with any Nazi movement – a phenomenon which happened about 70 years after his death. Franz Liszt’s and Anton Bruckner’s music were also hailed by Hitler but they are never pilloried as having been Nazis.
In actual fact Wagner in his youth was a politcal revolutionary of sorts and would for sure have fallen foul of the Nazi’s has he shared a historic era with them – which is conjecture only of course, but an argument which is somewhat logcially and fundamentally sound never the less.
Perhaps the reason for all the jokes and stories about Wagner is that one likes to joke about serious, profound and euphoric- things and the music of Herr Wagner was ‘all-of-the-above’ – namely ;serious, profound and euphoric!
You either love and adore the music, or you loathe it – and most opera goers do like Wagner – it is very special and unique – very tradtional, yet beyond romanticism and almost knocking on the doors of the 20th Century.
Richard Wagner was a man of many trades -conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or “music dramas” as they were later called).
Unlike most other great opera composers, Wagner always wrote the scenario and libretto for his works himself.
Wagner’s compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their contrapuntal texture, rich chromaticism, harmonies and orchestration, and elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with specific characters, locales, or plot elements.
Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music.
He transformed musical thought through his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk or complete or total artwork,
The synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts is epitomized by Wagners monumental 4 opera cycle – each one a masterpiece in its own right – Der Ring des Nibelungen which was completed in 1868.
The four separate operas, which are staged together only at the Bayreuth festival are;
Wagner even went so far as to build his own opera-house to try to stage these works as he had imagined them.
The Bayreuth Festspielhaus/ Bayreuth Festival Theatre are the resultant an opera house designed and built by Wagner in Bayreuth – near Nurnberg.
The building and concomitant annual opera festival takes place specifically to produce and perform Wagner’s operas – the Wagnerian faithful from around the world, and there are many, vie to get tickets to the annual event.
Read how Brahms saved music from Wagner – http://www.economist.com/node/367351
Next year will be very special and this means even harder to obtain tickets! http://intermezzo.typepad.com/intermezzo/2011/10/bayreuth-2013-wagner-goes-rap.html
So again – love him or hate him – Richard Wagner is here to stay, and many would think his art has made their lives more livable and more enjoyable.
Previous OTA-Blog articles about Wagner – http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/06/02/wagner-liszt-boulez-barenboim-concert-staatskapelle-berlin-with-pierre-boulez-conductor-daniel-barenboim-piano-monday-06-06-11-20-00-hrs-groser-saal/
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Russian Baritone Evgeny Nikitin – jumped or pushed – does the right thing and vacates Bayreuther Festspiele’ – by OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog contributor Mr W van Coeveren from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
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