The Wagner Journal

David Cormack, Our English Monster-Man

David Cormack, Our English Monster-Man

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November 2013, Volume 7, Number 3, 4–25.

It was Ernest Newman who drew the attention of the English-speaking world to W. Courthope Forman’s article ‘Stage Fauna for “The Ring”’, published in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 12 July 1930. In a footnote to the fourth volume of his biography of Wagner, published in 1947, Newman wrote that Forman had given ‘some amusing details, from old family documents’, of how these ‘fauna’ had been supplied from London to Bayreuth for the first Ring in 1876 by ‘Richard Keene, the well-known pantomime property artist’. ‘These orders included, besides the dragon, “a car with a yoke of rams for Fricka in the Valkyrie, a bear, a magpie and an ousel for Siegfried, and sacrificial beasts and a pair of ravens for the Götterdämmerung”.’ The orders had been entrusted to Wagner’s London supporters Edward Dannreuther and Alfred Forman, the Telegraph writer’s older brother.

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