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WSNC Film Screening – Wagner's Jews
April 5, 2014 - 8:00 am
Can Art Transcend Hatred and Bigotry?
The German opera composer Richard Wagner was notoriously anti-Semitic, and his writings on the Jews were later embraced by Hitler and the Nazis. But there is another, lesser-known side to this story.
For years, many of Wagner’s closest associates were Jews— young musicians who became personally devoted to him, and provided crucial help to his work and career. They included the teenaged piano prodigy Carl Tausig; Hermann Levi, a rabbi’s son who conducted the premiere of Wagner’s Parsifal; Angelo Neumann, who produced Wagner’s works throughout Europe; and Joseph Rubinstein, a pianist who lived with the Wagner family for years and committed suicide when Wagner died. Even as Wagner called for the elimination of the Jews from German life, many of his most active supporters were Jewish— as Wagner himself noted with surprise.
Who were they? What brought them to Wagner, and what brought him to them? These questions are at the heart of Hilan Warshaw’s documentary WAGNER’S JEWS, the first film to focus on Wagner’s complex personal relationships with Jews. Filmed on location in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, WAGNER’S JEWS tells these remarkable stories through archival sources, visual re-enactments, interviews, and performances of original musical works by Wagner’s Jewish colleagues— the first such performances on film.
Following the film screening, The Wagner Society has invited guests for a panel discussion and then the floor will be opened for questions. Our panel will be comprised of: Hilan Washaw, the writer, producer and film maker of Wagner’s Jews, Jonathan Khuner, Assistant Conductor, San Francisco Opera and Dr. Steven Goldberg, M.D. a local psychiatrist and presenter for “Opera on the Couch”, post-opera discussions coordinated with the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.
Free to members; non-members $10
HILAN WARSHAW is a filmmaker, writer, and educator based in New York City. Through his production company, Overtone Films LLC, he produces and directs independent projects as well as videos for organizations including Carnegie Hall, the League of American Orchestras, and the Dicapo Opera Theatre. He recently produced, directed, wrote, and edited Wagner’s Jews, Overtone Films’ new television documentary for WDR and ARTE.
In addition to his producing/directing work, his writing credits include the PBS documentary A Workshop for Peace; his video editing credits include PBS films such as Shadows in Paradise: Hitler’s Exiles in Hollywood (PBS/ARTE), In the Key of G, and the miniseries Great Conversations in Music.
Hilan Warshaw has a B.F.A. with honors (Film & TV) and M.F.A. (Musical Theatre Writing) from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. An experienced violinist and conductor, he studied orchestral conducting at Mannes College of Music and the Aspen Music School.
For more information visit www.overtonefilms.org
Program begins at 1:00 p.m. Free to members, non-members $10
3200 California Street (at Presidio)
San Francisco, CA 94118
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