Why Study Wagner and Jesus of Nazareth
From Simon Barnett
Prof. Richard Bell looks at a work of Richard Wagner (1813-83) that never reached the operatic stage. In the late 1840s, Wagner was planning an opera on the life of Jesus but, while still far complete, he loaned the sketches to a friend who never returned them! Wagner never saw them again, but they survived among the friend’s paper and were published after Wagner’s death. Bell argues that they are interesting both for their dramatic potential and for the light they throw on Wagner’s religious beliefs.