Despite all our good intentions to establish a temporary Wagner-free period here on Sounds & Fury, it seems once started on Wagner, it's damned difficult if not impossible to stop, even temporarily.
Our earlier linking of this Heather Mac Donald article for the quarterly, City Journal, concerning the outrages of Regietheater has brought a mini-storm of protest and abuse, both publicly and privately, the odd thing being that much of the protest and abuse centered not on the substance of the article (although there was certainly that as well), but on who Heather Mac Donald is — viz., a professional political Conservative — and the politically Conservative bias of the publication in which the article appeared.
We don't intend here to address that perverse and inappropriate response beyond our above making note of it, but intend rather to address the objections raised to Ms. Mac Donald's aesthetic argument savaging the outrageous pretenses and conceits of Regietheater. And we cannot do that better than to refer all interested parties to an April 2005 Sounds & Fury article wherein we take the tack not of savaging Regietheater as we've in the past done in a goodly number of articles here on Sounds & Fury, and which would do little more than merely echo much of what Ms. Mac Donald had to say, but rather of outlining a general solution to the staging of Wagner's mature works that preserves their musico-dramatic integrity fully intact even while abandoning Wagner's dated and largely unworkable stagings as reflected in his copious and explicit stage directions. The article is entitled, "Staging Wagner's Music-Dramas", and it can be read in full here. The article is fairly lengthy, but if the subject interests you, we think you'll find it worth your time having read.