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Music

Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Impact on Culture and Modern Music

By Ron Stauffer Looney Toons. Star Wars. Jaws. Apocalypse Now. Here Comes the Bride. Ride of the Valkyries. The Lord of the Rings. Indiana Jones. “A little bird told me.” What do these movies, TV shows, melodies and idioms all have in common? They were all heavily influenced by the German Romantic-era opera composer Richard […]

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Music

Concert Review: Wagner’s Ring Cycle at San Francisco Opera 2018

By Ron Stauffer SAN FRANCISCO — Like many opera fans, I have spent years trying to attend as many live operatic performances as I can. This often requires traveling to different cities or states, either by plane or by taking a long road trip. So far, I’ve been able to see several operas by a […]

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Music

Wagner’s Ring Cycle: The Greatest Story Ever Told

By Ron Stauffer SAN FRANCISCO — “The Ring [Cycle] is a gigantic work of art. It’s comparable to the complete works of Shakespeare, or the Sistine Chapel ceiling of Michelangelo, or any of the greatest monuments of art.” – Terence McEwen Thus begins a narrated recording of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which was provided by […]

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Music

Rediscovering The Magic of Christmas Through Caroling

For most of my adult life, Christmas has been a terrible holiday I’ve tried to avoid at almost all costs. It wasn’t always that way, however. As a child, I had fond memories of the entire Christmas season, and all year long I would anticipate my family’s traditions that made it very special for us […]