Comments: 16
Sounds like you had a great time! If that Callow book on Wagner is even half as good as his take on Dickens, you're in for a ride. Heck, this might be a Wagner book even I'd be prepared to read ... and I do Wagner only in very small and select doses ordinarily.

Blasphemy sounds truly interesting, too -- and congrats on getting all books autographed!

Now waiting for the Ali Smith post ... :)
BrokenTune 4 years ago
I can't do Wagner in large doses either. I'll watch a performance of The Flying Dutchman but I draw the line after that. The one and only reason I sat through the Ring was because I was fortunate enough to see the late Loriot's perfomance of The Ring in one Evening. That was quite enough of The Ring for me - even tho I loved Loriot (and he was such a kind person when we got to say hello after the performance...).

But, I am intrigued as to what draws Simon Callow and Stephen Fry to Wagner. I'll start with Callow's book. Then maybe see where Fry is coming from...?
Murder by Death 4 years ago
I'm not a Wagner fan either, although I don't mind Ride of the Valkyries once in awhile. But I'm fascinated by the whole "I'm going to write a piece (or Bühnenfestspiel to use his word) that lasts 4 days". And then spend 28 odd years writing it. That's an epic attention span no matter which end of the baton you're on. So I'll be really interested in what you think of this one; I've read Fry's (incomplete) compendium of classical music and I really enjoyed the heck out of it.

Did you know he's just released a new book Mythos? Sounds like his Greek myths version of Gaiman's Norse Mythologies.
BrokenTune 4 years ago
LoL. I have Mythos on pre-order. :D
Murder by Death 4 years ago
:D It's going on my next-order list. I can't wait!
Stephen Fry on Greek mythology? A must-have, sight unseen.

Our local opera does Wagner sporadically (once every couple of seasons), but so far chiefly the (cough) shorter ones (i.e., 4 hours instead of 4 days) -- most recently "The Flying Dutchman", which was spectacular actually; a few years ago "Tannhäuser" (OK) and between the two (in another season) "Tristan & Isolde", with a stage set inspired by the glasshouse setting from the Wesendonck Songs ("Im Treibhaus", which in turn was a study for T&I) ... which worked rather well as stage settings go, but still didn't remove my fundamental bafflement at how anyone can draw out a descent into madness and death, without much of a plot particularly in the middle acts, over four whole hours. They've so far mercifully spared us the "Ring", except for producing a one-evening musical version ... which seems to have gone down well enough with those who saw it, but which my mom and I were emphatically *not* sorry to miss.

Loriot's "Ring", now, that is a whole different story ... :) Glad to hear that off camera he was as nice as on -- that's certainly what I'd have expected, though, judging by his attitude when being interviewed and whenever he was (or felt) called upon to speak up outside his humorist features.
BrokenTune 4 years ago
Fry on Greek mythology - a must-have! My thoughts, exactly. :D

T&I setting does sound really good, but I'm not sure I could sit through 4 hours without loosing my mind. Maybe that is what Wagner was playing at? For added realism? ;)
Doubtlessly. :D

Especially given that the Wesendonck Lieder really *are* about the despair of longing and unfulfilled love ...
Obsession with words 4 years ago
I´m so jealous! I would love to go there. I recently learned that I am part Scottish a few years back while working on genealogy. No one could remember the names of my maternal grandparents. I was stuck for so long until I discovered a graveyard close to some family there and started looking up names of people with the last name Henry. I was finally able to connect the dots and my tree connect in with other´s on Ancestry.com who already had the same family line. I can follow it right to Scottland. I really want to work more on that to find out more about the family and maybe figure out the clan.
BrokenTune 4 years ago
LoL. Good luck with the genealogy. But even if you weren't tracing your roots back to Scotland, it is a great place to visit. :)
Lillelara 4 years ago
Thin Air has been my initial pick for the bingo and then I had to change my plans because my library doesn´t have this book. And guess what, they have the book in their catalogue. I´m just too stupid to use their site properly : /. So I might actually swith back to this book again, because I love mountaineer stories.
BrokenTune 4 years ago
Yeah, it was the mountaineering setting that intrigues me about this, too. Tho, I have a feeling this may be quite spooky if the descriptions of the setting live up to my expectations. :) Let me know if you get this one from the library for the bingo read. :)
Lillelara 4 years ago
You know what, I just read the synopsis and I just have to read Thin Air. I would never climb a mountain myself (not even if I physically could do it), but ever since I read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer I´m fascinated by the mountains.
I think Books, Hockey, and a Bucketful of Snark has it on her list as well.
BrokenTune 4 years ago
Cool! That should be a blast. :D
I'm envious too. I have enjoyed the few Wagner operas I have watched, although I remember particularly a Maurice Béjart's production in ballet of the Ring Trilogy. It was fabulous, but the seats were very uncomfortable (well, they were cheap seats in el Liceo in Barcelona).
BrokenTune 4 years ago
Oh, but Wagner was not made for uncomfortable seats at all. Everything is at least 3 hours long!!! At least 4 for any of the parts of The Ring!! How did you sit through this?