In Wagner’s Theatre, Patrick Carnegy presents the turbulent story of Wagner and his interpreters over the course of the twentieth century. Carnegy gives vivid accounts of Gustav Mahler’s radical reinvention of the Wagnerian stage, and of the post-war rehabilitation of Wagner and his work after Hitler’s appropriation. He also offers sharply written reappraisals of those great Wagnerian conductors Klemperer, Toscanini, Karajan and Solti.
Carnegy provides revealing accounts of the inside-workings of the Royal Opera House and of English National Opera at troubled points in their recent history. In a fascinating conversation with Sir Michael Tippett, the composer talks with unique authority about the problems facing would-be musical dramatists today. Wagner’s Theatre is an essential insight into how interpretations of Wagner have developed, and how we can respond to them.