Saturday 19 Feb 2022
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Queensland Multicultural Centre
Richard Wagner grew up in early 19th century Saxony when there was growing fascination with Chinese porcelain and decoration, Persian stories and poetry, and Indian ideas and philosophies. Mozart, Spohr and Weber had already drawn on eastern subjects in their works, and other composers followed suit. In the 1830s, Wagner toyed with an opera inspired by The Thousand and One Nights, and in the 1850’s, disillusioned and in exile, he talked about settling down in what was then the Ottoman Empire. His interest in the Orient and its philosophies never left him, as Tristan und Isolde, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung and Parsifal demonstrate beyond doubt. As we contemplate the planned Brisbane Ring production directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, it is timely to look at Eastern influences which played such an important part in Wagner’s creative endeavours.