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U.K. 2011. Dir.: Patrick McGrady. Digital Projection. 89 min. With Stephen Fry.
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WITH THE PURCHASE OF A MOVIE TICKET FOR THIS FILM, YOU WILL RECEIVE A 25% DISCOUNT ON THE PURCHASE OF AN OPERA TICKET FOR WAGNER’S FLYING DUTCHMAN PRESENTED AT THE MONTREAL OPERA ON NOVEMBER 10TH, 13TH, 15TH OR 17TH.
Stephen Fry is one of Britain’s best loved performers - a multi-talented actor, presenter and writer. He is a lifelong fan of the music of Richard Wagner – the world’s most controversial composer. But Stephen is also Jewish and, as he is acutely aware, the intensity of his enthusiasm for the composer was matched - or even surpassed - by that of Hitler. In this film Stephen makes a journey to explore his fascination for Wagner and confront his troubled legacy. Can he disentangle the music he loves from its poisonous links with Hitler?
His journey plays out against the backdrop of preparations for the Bayreuth Festival - the annual Wagner extravaganza held in a theatre purpose-built by the composer. He explores the backstage workings of the Opera house and discovers what makes the theatre, designed by Wagner himself, such a unique musical institution. Finally he confronts the composer’s controversial links with the Nazis. In Nuremberg, home to Hitler’s infamous propaganda rallies, he discovers how the Nazis appropriated Wagner’s music. In London he has an emotional meeting with a Holocaust survivor who played in the prisoners’ orchestra at Auschwitz, where some of Stephen’s relatives died. What advice will she give as he prepares to return to Bayreuth for the opening night of the Festival?
Animated by Stephen’s wit and intelligence, Wagner & Me is a fantastic introduction to the life and art of one of the most important composers ever, and a must-see film for those who already know and love his work.
“The questions he posed about art and politics, propaganda, power, myth and belonging and the sheer potency of expensive music were real and profound and touched the heart of all civilisations.”
-A.A.GILL, THE SUNDAY TIMES
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE MONTREAL OPERA
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER) ON NOVEMBER 10th, 13th, 15thand 17th, 2012, at Place des Arts
Highlighting a prestigious bicentennial, Wagner makes a grand return to the Opéra de Montréal! An early masterpiece by a composer who would go on to revolutionize opera. A story of love and death driven by a raging orchestra and voices as powerful as gale force winds!