The Wagner Journal

Keith Warner, Gesamt Werk Kunst: A Few New Thoughts

Keith Warner, Gesamt Werk Kunst: A Few New Thoughts

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July 2009, Volume 3, Number 2, 49–61.

Imagine that the production is the thing itself. The production imagined being the entire experience we have in the theatre during the performance we attend. We, as audience, have assembled not to renew our fantasy relationship with the genius of Wagner (or Mozart, or Verdi, or Shakespeare, or, or, or ...) which we have begun to feel as a deep personal friendship, a real ‘presence’ in our lives, and which has even led us from time to time to rise up and boo conductors, singers and particularly directors, when we feel that they have insulted, wrongly represented, even desecrated our imaginary friend. After all, we know. We are being asked to give up, perhaps unwillingly then, the special tingle at the synapses, which lurks, aching for fulfilment, awaiting connection to our memory and therein to our nostalgia.

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