Are Verdi and Wagner Revolutionaries? (03:58)
"Va Pensiero" was the secret anthem of the Italian liberation movement. Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi caused scandals. Claus Guth received scary letters and criticism from the "Wagneriana."
Police searched for Wagner in 1949; authorities created an arrest warrant. Wagner wanted to be successful and became moderate.
Wagner Was a Rebel (03:03)
Mikhail Bakunin and August Rockel influenced Wagner's compositions. The music from "Tristan und Isolde" irritated marriage enthusiasts. The composer created bold harmonies and abandoned arias, duets, and recitatives; his music was not anti-Semitic.
Verdi's Revolutionary Tactics (03:52)
Giuseppe Verdi staged several successful operas and wrote "Nabucco." Wagner was more mysterious. Verdi became a political activist, fighting for Italy's unity.
Lega Nord (03:26)
Benito Mussolini appeared at parades that played Verdi's music. Padania adopted "Va, Pensiero" as its anthem. Verdi's operas were inspired by William Shakespeare and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller.
Anti-Semitic Opera (03:11)
The German Opera performed "Rienzi" with characters in Nazi wardrobe. Members of the orchestra protested against scheduling the premiere on Adolf Hitler's Birthday. Those who used Wagner's music for propaganda were dangerous.
Scandal at Bayreuth Festival (05:18)
A video captured a partially covered swastika tattoo on Yevgeny Nikitin, suggesting Nazi sympathies. In 2011, the main female character in "Tannhauser" did not die of a broken heart, but was gassed. Austria passed the strictest law against a potential revival of Nazism.
Credits: The Revolutionaries (00:14)
Credits: The Revolutionaries
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