Synopses & Reviews
Today, more than a century after its first performance, Richard Wagner’s The Ring of Nibelung
endures as one of the most significant artistic creations in the history of opera. This monumental work not only altered previously accepted concepts of music and drama but also inspired creative and intellectual efforts far beyond the field of opera.
Previous studies of the Ring have appealed only to those already acquainted in some way with the Wagnerian art. For the uninitiated, Wagner and his landmark creation have seemed forbidding, and those eager to learn about the masterpiece have faced a vast and frequently esoteric body of commentary. Professor Cord addresses the interests of the non-specialist by taking the reader first into Wagner's unique intent, and then through the complete history of the Ring.
Cord, who has attended forty performances of the Ring, considers the conception of the poem, its development into a music-drama exemplifying Wagnerian thought, its introduction to the world, and the reactions and interpretation it elicits.
“Professor Cord’s 163 pages encompass just about everything one needs to know about the Ring
outside of sitting down and listening to it. … This handbook is definitely recommended for the new Ring
-goer, who may find here even more material than is needed at first, and it is certainly recommended for the veteran.”
-- James Keolker, The Opera Quarterly
“Mr. Cord has accomplished his self-imposed assignment with the thorough hand of a scholar.”
-- Ruby Mercer, Opera Canada
Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-194) and index.
About the Author
William O. Cord is Professor Emeritus of Foreign Languages at Sonoma State University (California). A recipient of Mexico's gold medal for his service to Mexican literature, Dr. Cord now devotes his creative time to writing and lecturing on Richard Wagner and his music dramas.