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Richard Wagner in Paris, a series of failures

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

The case of Richard Wagner in France is not an easy one. Adored by some, abhorred by others, it is indisputable that the German composer exerts a profound influence on the French capital, which in turn influences his ambitious lyrical work.

"I tried my luck in the city I hated: Paris. It was the second time I had been there. This city was, at least for me, a symbol of a spoiled and corrupt art, but still indispensable to my victory over the world. One day, at the historic headquarters of the Paris National Opera, the Palais Garnier, I brought the Tannhäuser, modified with post-Tristanian stylistic innovations. Of all my dramas, this one seemed to me the most appropriate to support the act of prostitution that identified artistic success with financial success. [...]
Screams, whistles and laughter condemned the performance of this masterpiece that had cost the beauty of an infinity of rehearsals... Only dear Baudelaire showed all his admiration for me, while the critics in the press spoke of nothing else."

Despite the mixed reception he received during his first visit to France, Wagner remained convinced that "to have a decisive effect on the French is to have an effect on the whole of Europe. "

By Carla, author of the tour "Richard Wagner. Ride the Storm".

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