Never miss a post
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries


Jamie Katz

"The Brilliant Troubled Legacy of Richard Wagner" [by Jamie Katz]

If you’ve ever hummed “Here Comes the Bride” (from Wagner’s Lohengrin) or seen Apocalypse Now (the “Ride of the Valkyries” helicopter assault), you have already sipped at the well. Those who have immersed themselves in [Richard] Wagner’s full operas—lengthy and demanding, yet flowing and churning like a great river of thought and feeling—often experience a sense of awe. “It's so rich and deep—it's like a drug sometimes. If you give up and let go, it really drags you into a mysterious world,” Jonas Kaufmann, the celebrated German tenor, said on NPR in February.“His music is like nobody else’s, emotionally,” says Janet Ciriello, a member of the Wagner Society of Los Angeles who has attended the Bayreuth Festival “six or seven times” since 1985. “It grabs you, and you have to stay with it. Whatever the issue is—greed, or power or Eros—he somehow manages to encompass everybody’s feelings.” Adds her husband Nick Ciriello: “I love Donizetti, Mozart and Verdi, of course, and Puccini. All of these people stir you and grab you, but Wagner picks you up and slams you against the wall. You are in his hands. He’s the grand sorcerer.”

Click here for the rest of Jamie Katz's Smithsonian piece (from July 23, 2013) about the least likeable but arguably most gifted of the various Wagners (Billy, Mayor, Mayor's Pop, Honus as well as Dick).

July 29, 2021

May 23, 2020

June 06, 2019

September 08, 2018

September 07, 2018

May 12, 2017

October 29, 2016

October 06, 2015

October 14, 2013

July 26, 2013

December 12, 2012

October 26, 2012

September 14, 2012

December 14, 2011

May 18, 2011

December 22, 2010

April 17, 2010

October 18, 2009

Best American Poetry Web ad3
click image to order your copy
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Click image to order


A creative communications, branding, and resources consultancy founded by Victoria C. Rowan


Reach a Wide International Audience

Advertise on the Best American Poetry Blog


  • StatCounter