Sunday, January 24, 2016


Wagner's The Love Ban (or Forbidden Love)
after Shakespeare's Measure for Measure

SYNOPSIS (by Wagner himself)

I am glad that this early ignored opera of Wagner (1813-1883) has survived its disastrous première (1836), and I am sorry I had to wait till late in my own life to hear it. The composer did not want any of his early works to be performed in his holy Bayreuth theatre, but his family finally staged it in 2013; and I remember 1983, when this and Die Feen (The Fairies) were being revived and recorded. I grabbed Rienzi and Die Feen, but this one escaped through my net till 2015. As was his custom, Wagner wrote his own book of words, and having examined this libretto for the first time today (I laboriously made for myself a copy that fits on 16 pages) I see that he has used rhyming extensively. Now we have another comedy of Wagner, but it has the usual conflict between love and law (here in a society where love was 'verboten', and the carnival was over before it had even started).
   I have never seen the Shakespeare play it is based on, so I must get round to that, too.

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