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What Wagner Stole - with Dr Genevieve Robyn Arkle & Sir David Pountney

"Good artists borrow. Great artists steal." 

Theft is a major theme of the Ring. When Wotan hears of the Rhinegold, Loge advises him to take it by theft: "Durch Raub". This advice has repercussions across the action of the whole tetralogy.

Dr Genevieve Robyn Arkle (Lecturer and Researcher, University of Bristol) joins Sir David Pountney, who has directed productions of the Ring cycle (Chicago), Rienzi (Vienna), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Leipzig), and Der fliegende Holländer (Welsh National Opera), to discuss the theme of theft in the operas, and what Wagner stole from other artists.

This event is part of Between the Ring, our standalone series of exciting events designed to fit around our Ring cycle. You don’t need a ticket to the Ring to book for these events.


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Dr Genevieve Robyn Arkle is an award-winning lecturer and researcher at the University of Bristol whose research focuses issues of music and meaning in 19th- and 20th-Century Austro-German music, specifically the works of Richard Wagner and Gustav Mahler. Her work has been presented at international conferences and published in both British and European academic journals. She is co-founder and Deputy Director of the Institute of Austrian and German Music Research, co-founder of the Gustav Mahler Research Centre Postgraduate Forum, and was recently appointed as a member of council for both the Royal Musical Association and the Society for Music Analysis. Genevieve is also passionate about speaking out on issues of race and representation in Music Studies; she is a Team Lead for the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Music Studies Network, and an Affiliate of the Black Opera Research Network.

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Sir David Pountney was born in Oxford and studied at St John’s College, Cambridge. In a career spanning over 45 years he has been Director of Productions at Scottish Opera and English National Opera, Intendant of the Bregenzer Festspiele and Artistic Director of WNO from 2011-2019. David’s pioneering productions have won him Janáček and Martinů medals and Olivier Awards, while his original librettos have been set to music by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Elena Langer. He has also translated librettos into English from Russian, Czech, German and Italian. Previously made a CBE, David Pountney was knighted for services to opera in 2019. He has also been decorated with civilian honours by Austria, Poland and France.

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between the ring

See more about our series of events around each cycle, between performance days.