Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wayward Wagner

Monday, the Rhine maidens lost their gold to a nasty dwarf, setting off a whole string of fantasy in song. Four nights and seventeen hours of music later (plus intermissions), we've come to the end of another season of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelung.

Watching the immorality of every Wagner creature - mortal and immortal, I was relived that our God who made the universe is not capricious or changeable. His nature is constant and Good. The Creator can be trusted and does not follow into temptation to satisfy the inclinations of an evil nature like Wagner's gods.

Opera is a medium where the basest desires can be paraded in full view. A composer can put all the flaws of human nature into song, exposing the depravity of the human heart. Detaching self from the characters of the story allows poetry and music to flow together in an orgy of events that in real life would be condemned by all but the foulest hearts.

I enjoyed the music. I delighted in the costumes and staging. But my heart was saddened at our acceptance of the fallen nature, not only of humans, but of the gods we invent. What beauty and wholesomeness could have been written though Wagner's gift, had the man been moral, upright, and interested in building up rather than tearing apart the fabric of society. Maybe someone pure-hearted and sincere is writing that kind of lovely music this year.

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