Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wagner's action heroes

As the Los Angeles Opera prepares to mount Richard Wagner's "Ring" cycle next month, the Los Angeles Times' David Ng posits the notion that Wagner's adaptation of the Norse saga "The Ring of the Nibelung" is a "genetic mother ship for today's fleet of action heroes" (Siegfried begat Batman, Brünnhilde begat Xena), and notes that Achim Freyer's production evokes comic-book art:


In discussing "the fanboy allure of Wagner's 'Ring'," Ng neglects to mention Wagner's most notorious fan, Adolf Hitler, and the dreadful turn that super-hero worship and exploitation took in the 1930s and ’40s; or more recent, less historic, but still lethal, consequences of mixing fantasy with testosterone.