Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wagner returns to Paris...

It won't tell you much if you're not an opera fan, but The Ring of the Nibelung 'L'Anneau du Nibelung in French) has returned to Paris after... 53 years! Quite logically it's also the first time it is being shown at the Bastille opera (one of the two major opera houses in Paris), since it was inaugurated in 1989. The Ring is actually composed of four different dramas inspired by the Scandinavian mythology (I won't bore you with the details, if you're interested, check with Ms Wikipedia!) and it's a real masterpiece. Well, that is if you like Richard Wagner  of course, otherwise you might borrow this famous quote by Woody Allen in Manhattan: "Everytime I hear Wagner I feel like invading Poland"!


  1. Great quote by Woody Allen. I sort of like Wagner, but my favorite poet, Baudelaire, was very much a Wagner fan.

  2. From Breizh music to Wagner...
    What a musical weekend on PDP !!!
    Thanks, Eric ;-)

  3. Vahhgner! What's a German dude doing on a French blog? :-) Woody's quote is spot on, but whenever I think Vahhgner, I think of the helicopter scene in the Coppola film "Apocalypse Now" with Ride of the Valkyries playing. Obviously (and justifiably so), the German occupation in France has taken a long time (fifty plus years) to get past. Vaggy is okay, but I much prefer Berlioz and Debussy. Hey, but what do I know, I'm a jazz guy.

  4. Well since I was at the opera just last night I was excited about your post. I don't just LURV the Opera Bastille ( If i want modern, I'll stay in the US of A!). I do hope that one day I'll get to the Opera Garnier for some kind of performance. I am dying to get inside that gorgeous place.

  5. We hardly ever have opera here, and I would love to listen to and watch one someday.

    This opera house is so modern, it takes some getting used to. But it's lovely, especially with everything so blue.

  6. Thanks, Eric! You take me right back to 47 years ago, when my Paris roommate's Austrian mother came to visit, went to a 6-hour performance of something Wagnerian at the Opera Garnier, then came home and kept us up until 3 a.m. reliving the performance!
    Bibi -- Baudelaire's my fave too (also François Villon).
    Coltrane -- and I'm a jazz girl, but there's definitely a time and place for opera.

  7. Yes, Coltrane, I was just thinking the same about the Ride of the Valkyrie in "Apocalypse Now". The guy playing from the helicopter was same character who gave the famous line: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like...victory." Very scary. LIke invading Poland.

    On a different emotion, I've seen but one opera: La Traviata. Of course, this was based on "Camille", by Dumas (fils). So, you see, I brought you right back to France, n'est-ce pas?

  8. Wow, that is an impressive facade and your perspective makes it feel towering. The Ring is so common here that at first I couldn't believe it will have it's first performance there in so many decades; but of course, the ill will after two devastating wars would explain a sharp lack of enthusiasm for Wagnerian opera. Although I love the northern mythology, my initial exposure to Wagner's famous work was at a high school friend's house through her bedroom clock radio tuned to the classical station. The signal didn't come in well, so part way through she snapped it off in frustration and exclaimed, "I just can't listen to some Hun conducting Wagner in static!" I bet the acoustics in the Bastille opera will be fantastic. I hope you get to go, Eric!

    Alexa, I loved reading your story!

  9. Both your Woody Allen quote and Coltrane's mention
    of Coppola' s'film are perfect for this post
    I particularly looove Woody Allen movies!

    This is a great angle from the opera house!

  10. @Alexa. So it seems my info is not right then - since your room mate's mother can 47 years and not 53 like I was told (I'm surprised you're more than 47 years old BTW... ;-)

    @Jeff "On a different emotion, I've seen but one opera: La Traviata. Of course, this was based on "Camille", by Dumas (fils). So, you see, I brought you right back to France, n'est-ce pas?" Actually La Traviata is based on La dame aux Camelias novel (it sounds like Camille!), which is a great book inspired by a real story. I should post about her one day - she lived not far from La Madeleine.

  11. Eric -- I KNEW I liked you (even if you are clearly blind)!

  12. Even better, is once the helicopter lans, and he is calling them all wimps because they won't make the choice: Fight or Surf!"

    I don't much care for Woody Allen, but I will say the quote made me chuckle. The Bastille Opera is very modern....I didn't realize it.


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