May 22 13 12:30 AM

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Part 1:

The music and theatre world everywhere in 2013 is and will be especially focused on Richard Wagner. This is the year marking the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 130th anniversary of his death. The Wagner Year celebrations are centred on the towns of Leipzig where he was born, and Bayreuth, which is most closely associated with his work.  In honour of this special year, the Bayreuth Festival is further enriched by a broad accompanying programme and a series of special projects. For some five months, from 16 February 2013 to 14 July 2013, Wagner’s works are being showcased.

Today, 22 May 2013, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Wagner’s works, is conducting the Bayreuth Festival orchestra, and an array of outstanding soloists, in a programme for the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth.

Part 2:

Richard Wagner(1813-1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor primarily known for his operas, or musical dramas. His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements.

His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music. In 1852 Wagner met the wealthy silk trader Otto Wesendonck who bankrolled the composer for several years. By the end of 1854, Wagner had sketched out all three acts of an opera on the Tristan theme. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered in Munich on 10 June 1865. The impact of the Tristan legend, together with his discovery of the German philosopher  Arthur Schopenhauer(1788-1860) in October 1854, led Wagner to find himself in a "serious mood created by his reading Schopenhauer.”2 Wagner utilized that mood to find, to create, the ecstatic expression that inspired the conception of Tristan und Isolde.

Part 3:

This evening I watched Stephen Fry on Wagner on ABC1 TV.1   I have enjoyed Stephen Fry(1957- ) for years, especially his more intellectual interests, although he is immensely enjoyed in popular culture for his part in film and the quiz game QI, as well as several travel programs. Fry is a British actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director, and activist.

Tonight’s TV program focused, in the main, on The Ring, a set of four operas based loosely on characters from the Norse sagas. The four operas are modelled after ancient Greek dramas that were presented as three tragedies and one play. The operas are often referred to as The Ring Cycle, Wagner's Ring, or simply The Ring. Wagner wrote the music over the course of about twenty-six years, from 1848 to 1874.


Part 4:

Fry has also written and presented several documentary series, including the award-winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which saw him explore his mental illness. Fry suffers from the milder form of bipolar disorder, BPD II. My BPD I, the more serious form, has given me an affinity with Fry for years partly due to his efforts to de-stigmatize BPD and mental illness in general. -Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1 TV, 10;25-11:25 p., 19/5/’13, and 2Wikipedia, 21/5/’13.

And so it was, so it has been

argued, that modern music in

our time made its debut right

at the start, at the beginnings

of those intimations that, over

time, transformed a heterodox,

seemingly negligible offshoot

of the Shaykhi school of that

Ithna-Ashariyyih Shi’ah sect of

Islam into a world religion……

Wagner had absolutely no idea

that his Shopenhauerian moods

were contemporaneous with an

ecstacy that would result in the

realization of  that Wondrous Vision

which constituted and resulted in an

emanation of the brightest, fairest, fruit

of the fairest civilization the world had

yet seen--for the political and religious

unification of the planet in the centuries

beyond in the 3rd millennium of our time.1

1 Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Pub. Trust, Wilmette, 1974(1938), p.48.          -Ron Price, 20/5/’13.

married for 46 years, a teacher for 35, now a writer & editor for 14, and a Baha'i for 54. Five books on internet; a website at: www.ronpriceepoch.com/