English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. The legend of the Swan Knight who rescues a princess from the forces of pagan evil is one Christian Europe’s foundation myths. Lohengrin transformed Wagner into an international figure almost overnight, and it remained his most popular work throughout the nineteenth century. Thomas Grey proposes that this was because it offered a “cautious taste” of his later works, while preserving some of the familiar traditions of French grand opera. John Deathridge asks why Wagner denied its Christian symbolism, and Janet Nelson argues that his vision of the Christian Middle Ages prefigured a modern historical approach. This English translation is by Amanda Holden.
Richard Wagner (1813-83) was a composer who drew inspiration from Christian and Nordic mythology, as well as the philosophy of Schopenhauer, to pioneer dramatically new forms of music. His concept of the "Total Artwork" led to the construction of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house he designed specifically for productions of his own operas. He also wrote widely on music and art. His operas include Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the four parts of Der Ring des Nibelungen.
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