Der Ring des Nibelungen
(The Ring of the Nibelung)

I can't believe it! I got the news on November 20, 1999 that I'd been accepted for tickets to the performances of the Ring in Wagner's own theater in Bayeuth**, Germany!!! This is after 6 years on the waiting list! I went in late August 2000, and here is my report ....

This page is dedicated to what is most definitely the single greatest masterpiece in all of Western Literature in any form. (Yeah, I know this web site is a close second, but ya gotta know your limitations!) Richard Wagner's genius in constructing this work, not to mention his tireless efforts to promote it and ensure that it would retain its intended effect throughout the generations, cannot possibly be overstated.

For those who can't stand opera, whose only exposure to it is through the hilarious but completely blasphemous characterizations found in the Bugs Bunny literature, let me offer the reminder that imitation is the highest form of flattery. The stereotypical "fat lady" character so common in cartoon and commercial parodies of opera, along with the horned helmet you always see her wearing, is none other than the leading female character of the Ring herself, Brünnhilde. (It's always a riot to see this "character" singing in Italian, as though the animators had no other stereotypical operatic characters from which to choose!) In this story, she is the embodiment of all that is good and right and honorable in the world. She gives up everything she has for love, she is constantly stepped on by everyone in sight, she is thwarted by the love of her life (through no fault of his own, however), and yet she is the one who redeems the universe through her love. She's a pretty powerful character, and the fact that she is used as the embodiment of what most people consider opera to be about may not be such a bad thing after all!

My journey to Bayreuth** in August 2000

The Story

** My translation **

** Please do me a favor and say "By-royt", and not "Bay-Ruth". That really honks me off.

© 1999 Dan McGlaun