Editor's Desk

A Real Piece of Gesamtkunstwerk

(Observations, Keeping it Local, Museum, Wagner, The Ring, Henry Stewart) Permanent link
Morgan Ring Libretto hdl 316
A libretto for Der Ring des Nibelungen, annotated by Wagner
Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum

IN A MEDIUM-SIZED GALLERY on an upper floor, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City is now exhibiting “Wagner’s Ring: Forging an Epic,” a collection of rare materials from the Morgan, Bayreuth, the Met and other archives that’s essential viewing for fans of the composer and his magnum opus. While the exhibit tells a coherent story of the work’s genesis using manuscripts and artifacts—from Wagner’s inspirations to the first performances of the Ring in the U.S.—it might be most enjoyable for the access to particular extraordinary objects, regardless of their context: the handwritten draft/outline of the score for the "Ride of the Valkyries"; Wagner’s reduction for a friend of Wotan’s Farewell; his personal revisions to the published libretto; and original tickets to the first performance of the full cycle at Bayreuth. 

Wagner Tickets hdl 2 316
Tickets dating from 1876, the year that the Bayreuth
Festspielhaus opened

Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum

And there’s more to discover than what we’ve mentioned: costume sketches, letters, hand-signed invitations, newspaper coverage, satirical cartoons, rare manuscripts, many other orchestral sketches, and much more. Find out what appeals most to you before the exhibit closes on April 17. spacer 

 

More info can be found at The Morgan Library & Museum

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