Die Sieger

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Die Sieger (German: The Victors), (WWV 89), is a draft sketch for an opera text by Richard Wagner.

Die Sieger was drafted between 1856 and 1858, at a period when Wagner had become greatly interested in Buddhism. The fragmentary prose sketch which survives shows that it was based on legends which Wagner discovered in Eugène Burnouf's 1844 Introduction to the History of Buddhism. The story tells of the love of the outcast chandala Prakriti for the monk Ananda. Although both are ostracised by the other monks, Buddha permits their chaste union, and allows Prakriti to join the monastic community.[1]

Writing to Marie Sayn-Wittgenstein in 1857, Wagner refers to the girl as 'Savitri' and suggests a three-act structure.[2] He further wrote about the project to Mathilde Wesendonck from Venice in 1858, comparing himself and Mathilde to Ananda and Savitri.[3]

No musical sketches for this work are known to have been undertaken. Although Wagner planned a production of Die Sieger for 1870 in his 1865 programme of proposals for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, he never progressed it; however elements of the story persist in his opera Parsifal.[4][5]

Elements of Die Sieger were used by the British composer Jonathan Harvey in his own opera, Wagner Dream (2007).

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Wagner (1995), 385-6
  2. ^ Wagner (1987). 365-6. Letter of 4 March 1857
  3. ^ Wagner (1987) 424-6. Letter of 5 October 1858
  4. ^ Prose Sketch for Die Sieger in Monsalvat – the Parsifal Pages, retrieved 28 January 2012
  5. ^ Millington (1992), 322
Sources
  • Barry Millington (ed.),(1992) The Wagner Companion, London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500282748
  • Richard Wagner, tr. and ed. S. Spencer and B. Millington, (1982) Selected Letters of Richard Wagner, London: Dent. ISBN 9780460046435
  • Richard Wagner, tr. W. A. Ellis, (1995), Jesus of Nazareth and other writings. Lincoln NE and London: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803297807