The Wagner Journal

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Wagner®: The Making of a Brand

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Wagner®: The Making of a Brand

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March 2010, Volume 4, Number 1, 22–37.

In February 1875, Richard Wagner complained to Friedrich Nietzsche: ‘I’ve now become nothing but a businessman, i.e. a theatrical entrepreneur.’ Eighteen months later, Nietzsche would leave the newly launched Bayreuth Festival earlier than planned, disappointed by the commercialisation of what he had considered a utopian idea. Nietzsche’s final break with Wagner followed not long thereafter, but he would wait until his former idol had passed away before giving full expression to his sentiments. ‘Great success’, he wrote, ‘success with the masses no longer sides with those who are genuine – one must be an actor to achieve that’.

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