Nearly as much has been written about Richard Wagner and his Oeuvre as about Jesus Christ and Napoleon Bonaparte. Since 1967, I got affected by the fascination for Wagner’s Music Dramas, apart from a general love for opera – based on a long family tradition. My 30 years of employment with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and my work in several continents raised my interest in the reception of Wagner's Oeuvre in the international context and in the intercultural responses th...is provokes. With his opus magnum “The Ring of the Nibelung”, he proposed socially revolutionary ideas and concepts of great relevance for the life of human beings and societies at large, with a real universal claim. Since 2001, in my free time I have been writing reviews, mainly of Wagner’s Music Dramas, for several opera magazines, particularly for Der Neue Merker, Vienna, but also for Opera, London; the Bayreuth Festival Magazine, Bayreuth, Orpheus Opera International, Berlin; Concerto, São Paulo, as well as for several websites. My many trips to First Night performances in Europe, the USA, South America and Asia have granted me unforgettable moments of great music and artistic performance. Collecting the relevant posters of these new Wagner productions has been an integral part of this aesthetic experience for me, keeping alive over the years the memory of sometimes unforgettable moments. Each of the posters in this exhibition carries a story of its own. Often they were hard to obtain, travelled long distances under difficult conditions, and sometimes they transmit an even better impression than the production itself… But always they were accompanied by utmost care and the fervent wish to present them one day to a larger audience interested in Wagner’s Oeuvre. I am most thankful to the Palace of the Arts in Budapest that this wish has now come true. I invite you to embark on a visual walk through Richard Wagner’s Universal Oeuvre and hope it will bring you a visual association to his wonderful “endless melody”… Klaus Billand Presented by: Palace of Arts
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