The Wagner Society of Northern California recently staged a compelling lecture that was really all about current events.
William Berger, author, broadcaster and feature presenter for the Metropolitan Opera, recently gave a talk about “Racism and Systemic Hate in the Arts: Problems and Solutions from Wagner.”
While this sounds heavy, it was really fun and enlightening.
He declared, for example, “Old myths die hard…but actually, they never die at all.”
He’s been touring the country ostensibly to promote his new books (Speaking of Wagner: Talking to Audiences About The Ring of the Nibelung, and Seeking the Sublime Cache: Opera Articles written and selected by William Berger) but, actually, to listen to people’s concerns and ideas about this pivotal moment in cultural history – what he calls a “1918 moment that changes everything.”
The Society is part of a tradition dating from 1871 when Richard Wagner inspired the founding of the Wagner Vereine in the hope that they would finance the first Bayreuth Festival performance of The Ring.