Chapitre 6, p. 175-207, consacré à Adolphe Appia.
A master of mystery and paradox, Wagner spent his life composing himself while composing music. Written between 1864 and 1878, the essays in Art and Politics converge upon Wagner?s desire to define and reform German culture. He was deeply annoyed that Germany seemed to satisfy itself with cheap theater, vulgar songs, and clumsy imitations of French art. In ?What Is German?? he declared that German culture must rise above the common ruck. Citing ?Music?s wonderman? Johann Sebastian Bach as his precursor, Wagner fought to persuade his readers that German culture had a historic destiny, and that destiny was shaped first and foremost by music. ø As usual, embroiled in the defense of his operas and his person, Wagner recognized that his rescue from attack and poverty could not be expected from ?Franco-Judaico-German democracy.? He instead fixed his hopes elsewhere: ?the embodied voucher? for fundamental law, the Monarch. He found himself at a turning point in his career. In 1864 King Ludwig II of Bavaria befriended Wagner and gave him badly needed financial support. This alliance aroused Wagner?s enemies into further fits of jealousy. Yet, amid the public scorn, he worked on the production of Tristan und Isolde, drafted the libretto for Parsifal, and composed sections of Siegfried and Die Meistersinger. ø In these essays Wagner resumes his considerations of the close ties between religion and art. He calls art ?the kindly Life-saviour who does not really and wholly lead us out beyond this life, but, within it, lifts us up above it and shews it as itself a game of play.? These essays express his artistic credo and the knowledge of German literature that underpinned his claims for German genius. Following his ideals, he proclaimed his intention to raise the quality of German opera, by himself if necessary. ø This edition includes the full text of volume 4 of the translation of Wagner?s works commissioned in 1895 by the London Wagner Society.
First published in 1911, On the Art of the Theatre remains one of the seminal texts of theatre theory and practice. Actor, director, designer and pioneering theorist, Edward Gordon Craig was one of twentieth century theatre’s great modernisers. Here, he is eloquent and entertaining in expounding his views on the theatre; a crucial and prescient contribution that retains its relevance almost a century later. This reissue contains a wealth of new features: a specially written Introduction and notes from editor Franc Chamberlain an updated bibliography further reading. Controversial and original, On the Art of the Theatre stands as one of the most influential books on theatre of the twentieth century.
Here is Wagner as an important figure in the development of the theatre, in particular, the founding of the Bayreuth Festival, which established the paradigm for all modern theatre and music festivals.
"One might say that where Religion becomes artificial, it is reserved for Art to save the spirit of religion." With these words Richard Wagner began "Religion and Art" (1880), one of his most passionate essays. That passion made Wagner himself a central icon in the growing cult of art. Wagner felt that he lived in an age of spiritual crisis. "It can but rouse our apprehension, to see the progress of the art-of-war departing from the springs of moral force, and turning more and more to the mechanical," he wrote. In response to the frightening progress of dynamite and steel, Wagner adopted the role of the Tone Poet Seer, who reveals the inexpressible in concert halls and cleanses souls in waves of symhonic revelation. "Religion and Art" is the pivot of the works collected here. Also included are his defining essays "Public and Popularity" and "The Public in Time and Space"; his papers relating to the creation of the Bayreuth School; his complaint against publishers, "On Poetry and Composition" (1879); his article on the first production of Parsifal (1882); and other works that speak his mind about strengthening the spirit through music. These works participated in the duel between Wagner and Nietzsche that ensued after the breakup of their friendship in 1878. Nietzsche publicly called Wagner an incurable romantic, emphasizing how sick he thought both Wagner and his art were. Here Wagner counterattacks with arch innuendo and sarcasm. This edition includes the complete volume 6 of the 1897 translation of Wagner's works commissioned by the London Wagner Society. William Ashton Ellis is one of the most important translators of nineteenth-century musicology. In addition to his monumental translation of Wagner's prose works, he translated Wagner's correspondence with Franz Lizst, Mathilde Wesendonck, and Wagner's own family. Ellis died in 1919.
Richard Wagner has come to be seen as the quintessential artist of the nineteenth century, whose work embraces all the arts of the period. Dieter Borchmeyer here provides the first systematic and comprehensive account of Wagner's aesthetic theory, examining his hitherto neglected prosewritings and his ideas on music drama from the various standpoints of literature, the linking of ideas, and the sociology of art. The pre-eminent importance for Wagner of classical Greek art and mythology emerges with particular clarity, while his links with the great figures and forms of worldtheatre - Shakespeare, the commedia dell'arte, the popular theatre, and the puppet theatre - are traced in detail. The influence on Wagner of the historical and social novel is also discussed. The author provides the first comprehensive analysis of Cosima Wagner's Diaries, and throws unexpectedsidelights on Wagner's relationship with Nietzsche, in particular his important contribution to Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy. Central to the present study are Wagner's music dramas from Die Feen to Parsifal. These are examined in their literary, ideological, and socio-political contexts (including the problem of anti-Semitism). First published in German in 1982, this book has become established as a standard work ofWagner scholarship, and now appears for the first time in English in a completely revised edition incorporating a number of new chapters on the music dramas.
The circumstances which accompanied the planning and construction of the Festspielhaus at Bayreuth were, in some respects, even more dramatic than the productions which took place later. The turbulent times and discouragements which paralleled the building project could only have been overcome by the determination of a great artist and the foresight of art-loving patrons. As early as 1848, Richard Wagner, creator of a new musical art form which he called the Music-drama, indicated his desire to build a special theatre in which he could experiment and exercise his own ideas. The initial idea was that a temporary building be constructed for the purpose of experimentation but the final structure became a permanent theatre which has remained until now a monument to Wagner and his new art. Wagner wished to nationalize the music-drama and it was this intense longing to "nationalize" his art which gave Wagner the incomparable energy necessary for creating a home for his life work where it could live and thrive in its initial purity. Although Wagner set forth his plans in 1848, it was not until August 1876, after much haranguing, political intrigue and financial difficulties, that the composer was able to realize his abition. With the exception of King Ludwig, a few influential businessmen of Bayreuth and a handful of his contemporary artists, Wagner had no substantial support from his country. Instead of enthusiasm for his plan to nationalize music, Wagner encountered indifference or open objection to his ideas. Had it not been for the financial aid which King Ludwig gave from his personal treasurey, the tireless effort of Wagner in his concert tours and the gratuitous services of the artists, the great project could never have materialized. The Festspielhaus is not worthy of attention mrerely because it is the fulfillment of a life-long desire of a great musician. It has been recognized by authorities as the ideal theatre for performing Wagner's works. The seating arrangement, acoustics, unique placement of the orchestra in the "mustic abyss" and the necessary mechanical equipment housed in the immense storage lofts are all features which make it technically ideal for the purpose for which it was constructed. Although Wagner saw only the first Festival in 1856  and the initial performance of his last work, "Parsifal", the traditions have been carried on by his descendants. After his death in 1883, Cosima Wagne, his wife, succeeded him as Festival manager. In 1908 the management was transferred to Siegfried, son of Richard and Cosima. The Festivals were continued until the outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914. After an interim of ten years the Festivals were resumed. Soon after his mother's death, Siegfried died in August 1930, leaving his wfie, Winifred, in complete charge. In 1948 Winifred charged her two sons, Wieland and Wolfgang, with the further responsibilities of the Festivals. After another interim due to World War II, the Festivals are to be resumed in 1951 and the younger generation is hoping to fulfill the expectations of patrons by presenting in the traditional style, the Music-drama of Richard Wagner.
Adolphe Appia swept away the foundations of traditional theatre and set the agenda for the development of theatrical practice this century. In Adolphe Appia: Texts on Theatre, Richard Beacham brings together for the first time selections from all his major writings. The publication of these essays, many of which have long been unavailable in English, represents a significant addition to our understanding of the development of theatrical art. It will be an invaluable sourcebook for theatre students and welcomed as an important contribution to the literature of the modern stage.
This volume brings our story down to 1843, an important era in Richard Wagner’s Life, with his entry, as composer, of two successful operas, upon a so-called "practical" career at one of the principal German theatres.
The Gesamtkunstwerk ('total work of art'), once a key concept in Wagner studies, has become problematic. This book sheds light on this conundrum by first tracing the development of the concept in the 19th century through selected examples, some of which include combinations of different art forms. It then focuses on the culmination of the Gesamtkunstwerk in Wagner's theories and in the practice of his late music dramas, of which Der Ring des Nibelungen is the most complete representation. Finally, the book contrasts the view of the Ring as a fusion of dramatic text and music with the 20th century trend towards Deconstruction in Wagnerian productions and the importance of R�gie. Against this trend a case is made here for a fresh critical approach and a reconsideration of the nature and basis for the fundamental unity which has hitherto been widely perceived in Wagner's Ring. Approaches through Leitmotiv alone are no longer acceptable. However, in conjunction with another principle, Moment, which Wagner insisted on combining with Motive, these can be ingeniously 'staged' and steered to dramatic ends by means of musical dynamics and expressive devices such as accumulation. Analysis of the two Erda scenes demonstrates how this complex combination of resources acts as a powerful means of fusion of the musical and dramatic elements in the Ring and confirms its status as a Gesamtkunstwerk.
Erika Fischer-Lichte's introduction to the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies is a strikingly authoritative and wide ranging guide to the study of theatre in all of its forms. Its three-part structure moves from the first steps in starting to think about performance, through to the diverse and interrelated concerns required of higher-level study: Part 1 – Central Concepts for Theatre and Performance Research – introduces the language and key ideas that are used to discuss and think about theatre: concepts of performance; the emergence of meaning; and the theatrical event as an experience shared by actors and spectators. Part 1 contextualizes these concepts by tracing the history of Theatre and Performance Studies as a discipline. Part 2 – Fields, Theories and Methods – looks at how to analyse a performance and how to conduct theatre-historiographical research. This section is concerned with the 'doing' of Theatre and Performance Studies: establishing and understanding different methodological approaches; using sources effectively; and building theoretical frameworks. Part 3 – Pushing Boundaries – expands on the lessons of Parts 1 and 2 in order to engage with theatre and performance in a global context. Part 3 introduces the concept of 'interweaving performance cultures'; explores the interrelation of theatre with the other arts; and develops a transformative aesthetics of performance. Case studies throughout the book root its theoretical discussion in theatrical practice. Focused accounts of plays, practitioners and performances map the development of Theatre and Performance Studies as an academic discipline, and of the theatre itself as an art form. This is the most comprehensive and sophisticated introduction to the field available, written by one of its foremost scholars.
The Total Work of Art provides a broad survey that incorporates many canonical artists into a single narrative. With particular attention to the influence of the Total Work of Art on modern theatre and performance, this brief introduction will also be of interest to students in such fields as film studies, music history, history of art, cultural studies, and modern European literatures.
Now in its Third Edition, Scenic Art for the Theatre: History, Tools and Techniques continues to be the most trusted source for both student and professional scenic artists. With new information on scenic design using Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and other digital imaging softwares this test expands to offer the developing artist more step-by-step instuction and more practical techniques for work in the field. It goes beyond detailing job functions and discussing techniques to serve as a trouble-shooting guide for the scenic artist, providing practical advice for everyday solutions.
Wagner and Brecht are seemingly opposed in their approach to drama, music, and visual representation, the former believing in the integration of these different elements in the Gesamtkunstwerk, the other in their separation. However, they share common ground in their sophisticated use of leitmotivic networks, a bridging device for Wagner who builds onto its verbal and semantic foundation a unique and complex musical language. Both use the device to explain and evaluate a dramatic action as it unfolds, i.e. as a major form of perspectival commentary. Brown discusses the paradox that Wagner's theory can shed light on Brecht's dramatic practice, since Brecht's own thematical concerns focus almost exclusively on the gestic and disjunctive perspectives identified with epic theatre.