Winifred Wagner: Wahnfried, Politics and Individualism
Monday 24th April 2023 at 19.00 via Zoom
The name Winifred Wagner is heavy with negative meaning. Her personal association with Adolf Hitler, the Nazification of the Bayreuth Festival, and the consequent estrangement from her family have condemned the English-born orphan and wife of Richard Wagner’s son, Siegfried, to be a key figure in the nexus comprising Wagner, Bayreuth, Hitler and Nazism. An argument can be made, though, in favour of suggesting that, contrary to popular belief, politics, as such, were ancillary to what for Winifred was an agenda rooted in personal need.
Dr Eric Doughney is a musicologist on the staff of Newcastle University, and a graduate in Theatre Design who has designed for theatre (drama, contemporary dance, ballet, and opera) and, as both a staff member of the BBC Design Group and as a freelancer, for film and television, specialising in music and arts productions.
Research interests include the musical and prose works of Richard Wagner; Wagnerism; the Bayreuth Festival as Index of Germany’s now; nationalism in music; music broadcasting, and the interrelation of politics, policies, and socio-cultural trends in the broadcasting of Western Art Music within the UK.