Yesterday afternoon Paul Schofield gave a talk on his book The Redeemer Reborn: Parsifal as the Fifth Opera of Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Wagner Society of Northern California. It was the second time he had talked on this subject at WSNC, so his talk was slightly incoherent for someone who had not heard the previous one. Schofield spent most of the time going into the history of the grail legends, emphasizing they are not "fairy tales," as he put it, slightly scornfully. Strong attention was paid to the similarity of such stories across Indo-European cultures, though the same could be said of many folk tales as well.
Schofield compared the protagonists of Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal convincingly, but the parallels between Siegfried, Tannhäuser, der Holländer, Tristan, and Parsifal are all clear. I am not sure that it was proved Parsifal was part of the Ring anymore than Tristan und Isolde is. Perhaps I must simply read the book, as one can hardly expect someone to condense a 324 page book into a 90 minute talk.
* Tattling *
This WSNC event was the most crowded one I have attended, more chairs had to be brought in, and every chair was taken. Quite entertainingly, during the Q&A the speaker called the libretto for Turandot absurd, and mocked the opera as having "some nice music." Note this opera is based on an Indo-European fairy tale. Is it not interesting that Wagnerians are not satisfied with their composer being so great and glorious, but must also make humiliating remarks about other composers whenever possible?