Tag Archives: Dave Paxton
Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner: The 200th birthday of a Shakespearian composer

Today, 22 May 2013, we celebrate the 200th birthday of one of the most iconic, controversial, and astonishingly original artists of all times: Richard Wagner (1813-1883). The eminent British musicologist Deryck Cooke declared that Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is the most ambitious work of art ever produced […]

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Wagner's Homage to William Shakespeare

Wagner’s Shakespearian Birth

Richard Wagner’s engagement with his creative predecessor William Shakespeare began around age 13. At this time, Wagner pronounced Shakespeare’s name “Shicksper,” which triggered for him associations of fate (Shicksal = fate/destiny) and battle (Speer = spear). Wagner related this detail from the distant past to his second wife Cosima in 1874, who wrote it in […]

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Falstaff

Year of Shakespeare: Falstaff

This post is part of Year of Shakespeare, a project documenting the World Shakespeare Festival, the greatest celebration of Shakespeare the world has ever seen.   Falstaff, by Guiseppe Verdi, dir. Robert Carson, 23 May 2012, 7.30PM, at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. By Dave Paxton, Shakespeare Institute After an absence of about three years, I returned […]

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Sexing Isabella and Angelo

There’s a wonderful chapter from Ewan Fernie in the recently released volume Shakespeare and I, about Angelo in Measure for Measure and the yearning to ‘sin in loving virtue,’ which Fernie feels is central to the play. But my incessant re-readings of the play – I’m researching it in relation to Wagner’s opera of it […]

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