The Trouble with Wagner

The Trouble with Wagner

Michael P. Steinberg

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226594194

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Written from the dual perspective of a cultural/music historian and a dramaturg who worked on the bicentennial production of The Ring of the Nibelung at La Scala Milan and the Berlin State Opera, The Trouble with Wagner engages the deep politics and aesthetics of Wagner's music dramas as well as the responsibility of the stage to bring them both to the visible surface. An introductory chapter seeks an original understanding of the historical, philosophical, ideological, and formal foundations of Wagner's works. The four central chapters focus on the four works of the Ring cycle. An afterword places Wagner at the start of what has become known as the post-secular, with a concluding discussion of post-secular claims as they inform the debate about the Wagner taboo in Israel.