Wagner’s Mature Music-Dramas (Tristan and Isolde, The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, and Parsifal) in Light of Their Allegorical Relationship to The Ring of the Nibelung


Heise, Paul Brian


Paul Brian Heise has studied the works of Richard Wagner since 1971. While pursuing graduate studies in anthropology at Southern Illinois University, he developed an argument that Wagner’s works could be understood as an allegory and withdrew from formal studies to devote his life to discovering and sharing his wholesale reassessment of the meaning of Wagner’s dramas and their music. Heise has published extensively on Wagner, including The Wound That Will Never Heal: An Allegorical Interpretation of Richard Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung (Academica Press, 2021), and, with the support of the late British philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, the website www.wagnerheim.com, an online compendium of Heise’s thoughts about Wagner.

Scholars devoted to analysis of Richard Wagner’s operas and music-dramas have long noted his numerous comparisons between their characters and plots in his letters, essays, and recorded remarks. Yet no one has previously attempted to assess their implications for our systematic understanding of his art. Following Heise’s allegorical interpretation of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, The Wound That Will Never Heal (Academica Press, 2021), this second installment of the author’s lifelong Wagner project will examine Wagner’s mature music-dramas Tristan and Isolde, The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, and Parsifal in light of their relationship to the Ring as understood through Heise’s allegorical interpretation. It will demonstrate how Wagner’s Ring is a master-myth which can make sense of these other mature music-dramas as never before.

History, Music, Philosophy, Richard Wagner, Performing Arts, Opera, Mythology, Allegory, Comparative Literature, Germany
Release Date: 
January 15, 2025
9781680532920 Hardcover
Trim Size: 

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