The Wagner Journal

Tash Siddiqui, ‘Guy and Doll’, ‘Isolde ohne Tristan’ and a Silent Soprano

Tash Siddiqui, ‘Guy and Doll’, ‘Isolde ohne Tristan’ and a Silent Soprano

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November 2018, Volume 12, Number 3, 70–76.

Report on the ‘Wagner 1900’ Conference, held at Jesus College, University of Oxford, 9–11 April 2018.

Few eras in modern history conjure up such nostalgic but contradictory remembrances of things past as fin-de-siècle Vienna, the vibrant capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, and monarch of all the other states in the empire, reigned from 1848 to 1916. The sense of stability generated by his long reign was symbolised by the Ringstrasse, a broad boulevard built in the second half of the 19th century on an open area of land originally designed as a military buffer zone. Institutional buildings of all kinds, in all sorts of historicist styles, were erected. Yet the feeling of permanence was an illusion. Within a few short years came the First World War in 1914, and the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the war in 1918; Austria became a disoriented rump state, unable and in part unwilling to resist the Anschluss with Nazi Germany in 1938.

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