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Wagner's Ring – Myths and Imagination

November 6, 2010 - 8:00 am

Myths are stories passed down through generations and are used by cultures as a way to understand the mysteries of human experience and through these stories to present inner realities. Wagner, drawing from Scandinavian and Germanic sources, created in the Ring a powerful story of fate that in its depth and complexity has allowed for a wide, varied and often contradictory range of interpretations by critics, directors and designers over the past century and a half. But these interpretations have extended beyond the operatic stages where visual artists, inspired and challenged, by the Ring have created their own unique realizations. We will explore these realizations in the works of several artists whose personal styles can placed within changing art movements from early19th century Romanticism to late 20th century comic books. Although this is really a small “footnote”, we will also look briefly at the “comments and controversies” that surround a discussion of winged and horned helmets.

Dr. William Eddelman is an Associate Professor, Emeritus, in the Stanford University Department of Drama, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design.


November 6, 2010
8:00 am

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