Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy 200th Birthday, Richard Wagner

When we saw that 'Wagner' was trending on Twitter, we thought: "Hey, there is no way there are referring to the German classical composer Richard Wagner." But, as it turns out, today is his 200th birthday.

There are no Google Doodles to commemorate this; our assumption is that this might because Wagner's scandalous anti-Semitic views.

But, since "Rigoletto" is one of our favorite operas, we thought we'd quip Wagner for this occasion:

"One Supreme fact which I discovered is that it is not willpower, but fantasy-imagination that creates. Imagination is the creative force. Imagination creates reality."

We saw a tweet from the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh in regards to Wagner's birthday, and the Met Opera in New York has been performing Wagner operas in honor of this milestone.

One can also listen to the delightful American public radio series "Performance Today" which we assume will run a Wagner tribute today; the shows airs on WFDD-FM, a public radio/NPR station in Winston-Salem, NC.

And, of course, it is also our civic duty to remind young people that Richard Wagner (they would probably pronounce his name like Robert Wagner not Vagner as is the proper way) is not the one who sang the 1981 hit song "Jessie's Girl." That distinction belongs to Rick Springfield.

THE WHOOPS DEPARTMENT: We just realized that only is "Rigoletto," not a Wagner opera, it's not even German! It is a work by Verdi, so therefore it's Italian. But, as Kevin Spacey said in "Swimming with Sharks:" "Never apologize; it's a sign of weakness." 

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