The Wagner Journal

Nila Parly, Visions of the ‘Ring’

Nila Parly, Visions of the ‘Ring’

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November 2007, Volume 1, Number 3, 57–63.

Is there one truth, and one truth only, about the meaning of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen? Is it possible at all to uncover, in a scholarly way, the ‘truth’ about what the Ring means? And is it possible, on the basis of sufficiently documented research, to produce the Ring in perfect accordance with text, music and stage directions? You might almost think so, since passionately outraged Wagnerians so very often denounce a particular production as a total failure, claiming that the director has misunderstood the ‘proper ’ meaning of the work. A truly final, end-all staging of the Ring is a chimera, however, because any reading of it is a subjective interpretation; even the readings of scholars are subjective.

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