You are invited to a (virtual) School of English research seminar by Professor David Roberts on September 9th, 4-5pm, Microsoft Teams.
In this paper, David describes the origins of Richard Wagner’s interest in Shakespeare and its impact on his early work, both musical and literary. He assesses Wagner’s 1836 operatic adaptation of Measure for Measure and the evolution of Wagner’s appreciation of Shakespeare as charted by his wife Cosima’s diary and other documents. Wagner’s responses to individual Shakespearean characters are related to trends in German literary criticism, to his own mature work, and to later appropriations of his operas. The paper is drawn from a forthcoming essay called ‘Living with Ghosts: Shakespeare, Beethoven and Wagner’, commissioned for The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare in Music, eds. Mervyn Cooked and Christopher Wilson (OUP, 2021).
David Roberts is Professor of English at BCU and formerly Dean of ADM. His latest book is a new edition of William Congreve’s The Way of the World for the New Mermaids series (Methuen, July 2020).