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Your reaction: Verdi vs Wagner

During the Deloitte Ignite debate chaired by Stephen Fry, we asked you which composer deserved to come out on top.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

16 September 2013 at 11.13am | 4 Comments






You can watch a full recording of the debate on demand on our youtube channel. Watch the debate now.

Which composer do you prefer and why?
Highlights from the debate will be available on demand soon. Stephen Fry's Deloitte Ignite festival runs throughout September

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

16 September 2013 at 11.13am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged debate, Deloitte Ignite, Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Stephen Fry, Verdi 200, Wagner 200

This article has 4 comments

  1. Jill Stephenson responded on 16 September 2013 at 4:35pm Reply

    Wagner is OK in small doses. The trouble is that small doses are not what you get. He badly needed a good editor. Verdi didn't need an editor, and I can listen to as much of his music as there is. He doesn't bludgeon, like Wagner. As for a leitmotif - try the opening scene of 'Don Carlos', whose music appears at various points, including Act V. The real sin is to play the 4-act version.

  2. Denis Ribeiro responded on 17 September 2013 at 10:39am Reply

    I agree with Jill Stephenson's comment about Wagner needing a good editor. Although a lifelong admirer of Verdi, it's not as if I haven't seriously tried to appreciate Wagner, attending at least 2 complete Ring cycles and countless one-offs in the past 50 years! While admiring much of what he wrote, it is the over-long, self-congratulatory pomposity that ultimately sticks in my craw. This is never the case with Verdi, even in his cruder early operas, where his lifelong compassion for the human condition and fascination with the conflict of private emotion and public duty are always present - for me, so much more interesting than portentous and heavily 'symbolic' matters of mythological subject matters, not to mention pseudo-religiosity.

  3. Well this was one piece of scheduling which sadly wasn't very well done… both debates were thoroughly interesting, I just wish they had been better planned and scheduled for a different weekend. The first debate competed with the ROH’s own rehearsal of Nozze – and with that cast, production and director you could hardly expect friends to pass up the chance to attend the rehearsal ( which by the way was wonderful, as was the opening night!). And the second debate took place on the same evening and at the same time with the Barbican LSO season opener of… Rigoletto! Conducted by Noseda and with Platanias singing the lead role – guess where Verdi lovers were that night???

    I’m thankful that the debates are available online via BBC and ROH, but I would have liked to be able to be there live. This time the Ignite had a really interesting subject and the debates had interesting speakers, but forced to choose… live music won. In that respect for me on the same evening Verdi definitely won through music :-)

  4. Which is the greater - Mozart or bacon? Makes about as much sense as the question asked.

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