* Notes *
The Wagner Society of Northern California held a symposium on Tristan und Isolde last Saturday, October 21, 2006. There were seven speakers whose topics ranged from the day-to-day administration of Tristan at San Francisco Opera to a Jungian analysis of Wagner. The turn out was good, about a hundred people.
The highlight of the day was the round table with Christine Brewer and Jane Irwin, both were charming. Kip Cranna, who interviewed them, always speaks well. I also very much enjoyed Evan Baker's talk on Tristan und Isolde in Vienna, not least because of his amusing slides. Particularly interesting were Hoffmann's watercolors of the original sets for Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, which Baker photoshopped into an engraving of the Nationaltheater München's stage. This doesn't seem to have much to with the talk, subtitled "The Iconoclastic Mahler/Roller Production of Tristan und Isolde," but it did show how this Viennese production was a departure. He went on to speak about Adolphe Appia, the Wiener Werkstätte, and the Secessionists, all with plenty of visuals.
* Tattling *
The main purpose of this Wagner society is to wrangle tickets to the Richard-Wagner-Festspiele in Bayreuth. Sandra Molyneaux signed me up for a membership and later checked up on me to see how the day was going. She asked if I was interested in going to Bayreuth, and I must admit it is tempting. The last time I was there was in 1998 for a semester abroad, and naturally I did not have tickets to the Festspiele. It was interesting to see Bayreuth go from the quiet university town that it is most of the year to Wagnerstadt in the summer.