Posts Tagged: Richard Wagner Results 9
(Haaretz) — The music of German composer Richard Wagner was never played in his parents’ home: Too many bad associations with Hitler and the Nazis, explains filmmaker Hilan Warshaw.
Stephen Fry has one of those faces you likely recognize but don’t know why. Did he live in the old neighborhood? Did you go to school with him? Or, as is the case, is he someone almost famous?
It seems that if you want to play Wagner’s Dutchman on stage, a Nazi tattoo just ain’t gonna fly. Russian singer Evgeny Nikitin withdrew from the titular role of the famed German opera on Saturday after a July 20 television broadcast showcasing his hard-rocking past as drummer in a Russian metal band included a clear view of his tattooed torso — including a large swastika spanning the right of his chest.
Three central Jewish thinkers, Heinrich Heine, Theodor Herzl, and I. L. Peretz were all profoundly inspired by the medieval legend of Tannhäuser, a knight and poet who worshipped the goddess Venus. Herzl and Peretz were also fans of the 1845 opera based on this legend, by the notoriously anti-Semitic Richard Wagner. This paradox is explored in a study out in October from Purdue University Press, “A Knight at the Opera” by Leah Garrett — whose great grandfather, Baruch Charney Vladeck, was the manager of the Forverts in the 1930s as well as a founder of the Jewish Labor Committee.
Today Richard Tauber, the Austrian tenor of Jewish ancestry, is a genuine icon, as the title of a splendid 5-CD box set of his recordings from EMI Classics indicates. Yet his life is a cautionary tale of how critics should reflect on the possible impact of their words.