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Ensemble

Always a Thrill

Los Angeles Opera's production
of Wagner's 'Tannhäuser',
reviewed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

During his early career, composer Richard Wagner was often in serious debt, so much so that he frequently moved from city to city in order to evade his creditors. The first of his operas to be performed was Das Liebesverbot, based on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Unfortunately, it was a miserable failure when it was premièred in Magdeburg. It was only given once and the composer incurred enormous bills. He left the city, going first to London and, shortly thereafter, to Paris. Financially, he did not fare very well in Paris but he completed Rienzi and Der Fliegende Holländer there.

Lioba Braun as Venus and Peter Seiffert in the title role of Wagner's Tannhäuser (Act 1). Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Lioba Braun as Venus and Peter Seiffert in the title role of Wagner's Tannhäuser (Act 1). Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

When he found that he could stage Rienzi in Dresden, he moved there. Thus, three of his operas were first seen at its Royal Saxon Court Theatre. Rienzi was a tremendous success on 20 October 1842, and was followed by well received performances of Der Fliegende Holländer on 2 January 1843, and Tannhäuser on 19 October 1845.

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Copyright © 22 April 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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