|Wagner's Ring Cycle: An Introduction and Overview
In this course, we will examine Richard Wagner's infamous operatic tetralogy of Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried, and Gotterdammerung. We will discuss the life and work of Richard Wagner, and why his work holds a special place in the operatic canon. Plot overviews, dramatic and musical analyses of each Ring Cycle opera (featuring audio and video excerpts of famous productions and recordings) will be reviewed. What was the critical reception, controversy, and politics surrounding this opera over the years? Why do many scholars and historians consider the Ring Cycle one of the monumental achievements of western art and culture? And what is its lasting impact on opera, concert music, and film music?
Students will gain a basic understanding of Wagner's life, work, and impact on the world of opera and concert music context and importance of Wagner's Ring Cycle tetralogy (historical, dramatic, musical analyses) and be well prepared for the upcoming production in San Francisco this summer at SF Opera.
Week 1: An overview of the history of the Ring Cycle, Wagner's life and other works.
Week 2: Das Rheingold (plot overview, dramatic and musical analysis, audio and video excerpts)
Week 3: Die Walkure (plot overview, dramatic and musical analysis, audio and video excerpts)
Week 4: Siegfried (plot overview, dramatic and musical analysis, audio and video excerpts)
Week 5: Gotterdammerung (plot overview, dramatic and musical analysis, audio and video excerpts)
Week 6: Criticism, controversy, lasting impact, and performance practice of the Ring Cycle (with an overview of the upcoming San Francisco Opera Ring Cycle summer 2018)
David Möschler is an award-winning Bay Area conductor, musical director, and lecturer. He has worked on over 100 different theater productions throughout the country, and served on the faculty of Academy of Art University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He frequently guest lectures for many local organizations, specializing in musical theater and film music. In 2013 Möschler founded the Awesöme Orchestra Collective, which he conducts every month.