Simon Callow gets inside the ‘anti-Semitic, psychotic’ head of Wagner for one-man show – Features – Theatre & Dance – The Independent

To my great surprise, I found I liked him. I thought, ‘How can you like this rampantly anti-Semitic, ruthless individual?’”

Wagner’s anti-Semitism manifested itself with alarming frequency, most notably in his 1850 essay, “Judaism in Music”, in which he attempted to explain the “involuntary repellence” and “instinctive dislike” felt by others toward Jews. He later claimed: “The Jew is the plastic demon of the decline of mankind”. In 1881 he wrote to Ludwig II of Bavaria: “I hold the Jewish race to be the born enemy of pure humanity and everything noble in it.”

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth, and Callow’s one-man show was commissioned by the ROH’s director of opera, Kasper Holten, as a “missionary event” with the aim of getting new audiences interested in Wagner’s music.

 

via Simon Callow gets inside the ‘anti-Semitic, psychotic’ head of Wagner for one-man show – Features – Theatre & Dance – The Independent.

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