Me and Wagner

So, a few days ago I wrote an excited Tweet that went as follows:

Oh my god, I’ve just realised something. I LOVE WAGNER. #importantlifemoment”

Judging by the fact that this had 7 retweets and 5 favourites, I’m guessing that other people were a bit excited by it as well. It probably seems a bit weird, having the confidence to start a blog exclusively about opera without really appreciating one of the greatest ever opera composers. But the thing is, I knew this moment was going to come soon.

Up until about a year and a half ago, I had the same reaction as most people do when they encounter Wagner – “Ugh. This thing makes no sense.” Maybe part of this common dislike is the fact that you are always told “Now, you probably won’t like this, but it’s actually very good.” It’s true, I know that now, but it doesn’t really help when you’re trying to form your own opinion on something.

But recently I’ve begun to understand Wagner a lot more. This has happened very slowly, only just fast enough for me to notice it happening. Gradually, change has happened. Last year, when the Ring Cycle from the Met was broadcast on the radio, I was listening to it as a kind of background music. It happened to be on the radio, so I turned on the radio and carried on doing stuff. But then occasionally there would be a phrase or chord that would make me just stop what I was doing and listen. And so, I’ve gradually come around to love this music.

I now feel that I ‘understand’ Walküre, in a rather limited meaning of the word ‘understand’. I have, in a way, learned to love the Ring Cycle in particular. The thought of listening to Parsifal, even with Der Jonas in the title role, still provokes that ‘Ugh.’ But the Ring Cycle, I feel, now makes more sense to me. I like love it and I can understand opinions a lot more. And also, I feel almost closer to it than, say, Puccini, because I’ve made this journey of listening, watching and understanding. With Puccini, I love the music and the drama and more often than not it makes me cry. But I don’t feel quite so drawn into it as some pieces of Wagner, simply because there’s been no change. It’s been wonderful music that I love, right from the start. Wagner has changed, for me and with me and that makes it, in some ways, more special.

I think it was this video that was the turning point.

I was one of the few people, it seems, who really enjoyed the Met’s new Ring production. One particular part of it that I loved were the projections. It must have taken a lot of work and it looks magnificent. With this clip, I think the part that makes it wonderful is the orchestration. I’m not overly fond of the tenor here or the role he’s singing. But the part in the orchestra is perfect, although the singing is necessary. It wouldn’t be right or good without the singing.


A little personal post today, just before I leave for Köln.

Firstly, a huge thank you to the wonderful Odd Pavarotti Blog for featuring this blog in a post! If you are here because of that post, then welcome! Hopefully you will enjoy the blog. Also, if there is anyone here who has not yet visited Odd Pavarotti’s awesome blog, then go now! It is the perfect blog for Pavarotti fans and if you are not a Pavarotti fan or you don’t know about him, then you are probably wasting your life. 😛

Secondly, you may have noticed that Dolce Suono has opened a Twitter account. This is where she makes brief updates about life as a teen opera fan, life as a teen, life as an Italophile and tropera (This is a word she invented herself. It is a cross between trams and opera. It is a very pleasing combination and it turns up surprisingly often, particularly in Germany and Austria. This was inspired by her visit to Milan at Easter and her excitement at seeing a tram in front of La Scala (in her own sophisticated words – “Trams are awesome and opera is awesome and La Scala is super-awesome and trams in front of La Scala are super-double-awesome!”). @DolceSuonoOpera often updates Twitter with tropera photos, mostly not her own). If you are on Twitter, please follow, it would really be appreciated! Also, check out some of the people @DolceSuonoOpera follows – they are really awesome!

And Dolce Suono leave you with this (because she needs sleep – leaving for Germany in 2 and a bit hours, at one in the morning):