© Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Siegfried 2019


Latest volume in the Wagner Series - Wieland Wagner - is now available
"Nothing is Eternal" Wieland Wagner: Aesthetics, Contemporary History, Influence - discussion edited by Stephan Mösch & Sven Friedrich
Wagner Volume 16

Wieland Wagner (1917-1966) was one of the most important reformers of the opera stage in the 20th century. With the so-called "Neu-Bayreuth" he ensured that the Festival turned away from an ideologically burdened tradition.  "Away from the Wagner cult, towards cultic theatre" was a principle that he had already formulated at a press conference held in 1951.

The resulting Wagner iconography was considered binding for decades.  It is a deeply heterogeneous entity. Contemporaries ran up against iconoclastic furor, although the roots go back to Adolphe Appia and thus to the end of the 19th century.  This iconography synthesised the most diverse approaches of aesthetic modernism and yet found an immediately recognisable optical signature.  It was founded on psychologically profound precision and yet succeeded in remaining abstract. The recourse to timeless values earned it the reputation of being timeless as an aesthetic product. Nevertheless, it is marked by a time in which although the immediate past was suppressed, in many respects it was able to continue to function under the surface.

From today's perspective, Wieland Wagner appears in a permanent dichotomy between innovation and continuity, which often only became visible at a late stage. This relates to him in equal measure as a stage director, Festival director and a figure in contemporary history. And it makes scholarly preoccupation with him attractive.

This is where this volume comes in. Contributions are by Michael Custodis, Sven Friedrich, Friedemann Kreuder, Arne Langer, Volker Mertens, Stephan Mösch, Arne Stollberg and Melanie Unseld.

Königshausen & Neumann

Available in German only at Amazon at the price of 38 €.