quarta-feira, 3 de setembro de 2008

Bayreuth: from now on...

(a dupla Eva - Katharina Wagner)

Em Bayreuth, os dados estão lançados!

A coexistência Katharina - Eva Wagner à frente dos destinos de Bayreuth – e o consequente afastamento da dupla Nike Wagner - Gerard Mortier da putativa direcção do mítico festival – seria da ordem do fait divers, não fora a circunstância de envolver, justamente, a preservação da inigualável obra de Mestre Richard.

«Las dos hijas de Wolfgang Wagner, Katharina y Eva Wagner-Pasquier, sucederá a su padre al frente del Festival Richard Wagner de Bayreuth, la cita operística que el patriarca y nieto del compositor ha dirigido durante más de medio siglo. El Consejo de la Fundación del festival tomó esta decisión este lunes, destinada a zanjar el largo litigio pro la dirección de Bayreuth entre estas descendientes de Wagner y otra biznieta del compositor, Nike Wagner.

Las hermanastras Katharina y Eva, hijas del segundo y primer matrimonio de Wolfgang, respectivamente, habían acordado esta solución de compromiso a modo de dirección bicéfala.

Evidentemente, não acredito em direcções bicéfalas!

Basta conhecer Der Ring – o incontornável manual de ciência política, que os ilustres políticos ignoram, maioritariamente - para perceber que, tanto nos Wagner como ailleurs, o poder não resiste a compromissos.

O que esta pseudo-aliança pretende é, em minha opinião, propor uma solução neurótica – psicanaliticamente falando, ossia estabelecer um compromisso entre opostos.

Como se sabe, em Der Ring, o poder enlouquece, escraviza e destrói, sendo que nada resiste à sua força.

Ou muito me engano ou esta direcção dificilmente escapará à compulsão à repetição...

«The composer Richard Wagner and his wife Cosima launched the festival in 1876 and resided in their famous “Wahnfried” villa in the city which like the festival, rapidly became a magnet for opera lovers from throughout Germany and abroad.

Hitler became a fanatical Wagner fan in the early 1900s. He regarded the reputedly anti-Semitic composer as a genius who had managed to capture the nation's Germanic soul in his music. Biographers say that he likened listening Wagner's work to a mystical or religious experience.

By the 1930s, the Nazi leader was a regular visitor to Bayreuth. He became a close friend of the British-born Winifred Wagner (nee Williams), the wife of Richard Wagner's son Siegfried. Winifred, who is reputed to have shared Hitler's anti-Semitism, referred to the Nazi leader by the nickname “Wolf”. There were even rumours that the two would marry.

Hitler responded by turning Bayreuth into a cultural Mecca for the Nazis. The festival was given special status and funding. Winifred referred to Hitler as “our blessed Adolf” and kept a framed photograph of the Nazi leader on her desk right up until her death long after the war. She never questioned her support for Hitler with whom she corresponded frequently. The Wagner family has refused to release them, preferring to keep the locked in a bank vault.

The music of Richard Wagner has since never managed to shed its associations with the Nazi era. The foundation that runs it has always stipulated that a Wagner family member should run the event. But Bayreuth is nowadays one of Germany's key cultural occasions. Its programme runs for only a month each summer but attracts the nation's artists and the political and business elite.

Chancellor Angela Merkel who is an ardent Wagner fan and frequent visitor, chose the event to appear for the first time in public with, her normally reclusive husband Professor Joachim Sauer.

Winifred's sons Wolfgang and Wieland were handed the reins of the festival when it reopened after World War II. Wieland was considered the true heir to Richard Wagner and regarded as a genuine creative genius. Yet he died in 1966 and sole control was then given to the less gifted Wolfgang.

Almost from then on, the Wagner family's feuding became almost as well known in Germany as the composer and his festival. Wolfgang's son, Gottfried Wagner would have been his father's natural successor at Bayreuth. However Gottfried disgraced himself early on the “Green Hill” by publishing details of Richard Wagner's anti-Semitism and of Winifred's fanatical admiration for the Nazis.

Yet the family feuding had hardly started. Nike Wagner, the daughter of Wolfgang's talented brother Wieland, followed up with a blistering attack on Wolfgang in which she described him in true Wagnerian-style as “the shadow attached to Wieland's heels, the demon who sucked the blood from his veins in the full light of day, the sprite he had crushed a hundred times but who always returned to his feet.”

The battle for control of Bayreuth began in earnest in 2001, after Wolfgang flatly refused to accept the board's suggestion that his daughter Eva should step in to replace him. Nike waded in with an initial counter bid. However Wolfgang rejected them both.

In the interim he had remarried his secretary and press officer, Gudrun Wagner and she had given birth to Katharina, their daughter. Until late last year, Wolfgang had doggedly refused to accept the board's recommendations, first attempting to install Gudrun as his successor and latterly, the tall, blonde, Teutonic-looking Katharina.

Nike's acid response was that Gudrun, who had by then become the eminence grise of Bayreuth, had reached her position “not through art and culture but via the nuptial bed”. Then last year and wholly unexpectedly, Gudrun died.

Katharina was given her debut at the festival and promptly turned out a somewhat controversial version of Wagner's celebrated “Meistersinger von Nuremberg” which featured singers equipped with strap-on penises. Earlier this year Wolfgang finally accepted a board recommendation that Eva and Katharina should take joint control of the festival.

Katharina told Germany's mass circulation Bild newspaper last week that she wanted to show that Wagner was “all about stories with dragons, heroes and magic powers.” She added: “I want to start a massive debate about Bayreuth's past. Why did Hitler love Wagner and how come the Nazis had such an influence?” she asked.

Despite yesterday's official end to hostilities, there is plenty left within the clan Wagner for further controversy - if not another feud.

O leitor verá que, tal como noticia o The New York Times, a querela envolve questões que transcendem a mera arte...

«With the German news media following the selection with “American Idol”-style breathlessness, the foundation board met on Monday and heard from both sides. It is dominated by officials of the federal, state and local governments, but also has four Wagner family members. The foundation voted in favor of the Wagner half-sisters 22 to 0, with two abstentions, said the German culture minister, Bernd Neumann.

Mr. Neumann welcomed the choice, and more important, he said the federal government would continue “to be committed to its responsibility to support the Bayreuth Festival.” The federal government provides 10 percent of the festival’s annual $23.3 million budget, with another 20 percent coming from state and local governments.

The new team’s plans should be adopted, the minister said, “so that the most famous opera festival in the world continues to do justice to its exemplary role as the trailblazer and hub for the artistic examination of Richard Wagner’s works, his tradition and his international reputation.”

Aqui para nós, a encenação iconoclasta – e desprezível... – que a (so far...) incompetente Katharina propôs, na edição passada do festival, de Os Mestres Cantores de Nuremberga, contem algo de premonitório! Oxalá eu me engane!

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