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New film bio of Stephen Hawking, & Wagner

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:43 pm
by alberich00
Dear members of, & visitors to, the discussion forum:

I just saw the new film bio of Stephen Hawking at ye olde
movie theater. I was waiting in suspense to see how much air time the
director/producer would give to Hawking's well known mania for the music
dramas of RW, and particularly "The Ring of the Nibelung." In the event,
the film used 3 excerpts from the "Ring," during one of which (the
visionary moment just before Siegfried wakes Bruennhilde inside the ring
of fire on the mountaintop, in "Siegfried" Act Three) Hawking was at a "Ring" performance in
Bordeaux, France, and has to be carried out due to hemorrhaging. I've no idea whether or not
this event actually occurred as portrayed, but it makes for good theater.

I bring this to your attention because Hawking is on record saying a
primary consolation once he received his diagnosis of motor neuron
disease, with a prospective death within two years, was to listen to
Wagner's music-dramas, particularly the "Ring," and most particularly
Act One of "The Valkyrie" and most most particularly Bruennhilde's
Annuciation of Siegmund's death (a fate Siegmund heroically resists,
just as Hawking heroically resisted his prognosis). The filmmakers lost
an extraordinarily poignant opportunity for drama by failing to play up
this particular excerpt in the film.

I'm fully aware that Hawking is realizes he can go at any time, and that
every spare moment must be devoted to completing his own life's work,
but nonetheless I dream of the day (if ever) that, somehow or other, he
manages to read my online book on the "Ring" in www.wagnerheim.com, and
to offer his opinion. This would be most curious, and an unforgettable honor, even if
(heaven forbid) he casts my life's work into oblivion.

Your man in Wagnerheim,

Paul alias Alberich00