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Wagner's Ring in Popular Culture

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 09:52 AM

Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung is an epic saga of greed, lust, the corrupting influence of power, and redemption through love told over sixteen hours and four nights. It's sung completely in German. Music for the masses it is not. Or is it?

While the Ring may seem like a rich feast served up to opera’s elite, its timeless themes have long resonated in popular culture. Some Examples:

Finally, heavy metal music also has time and again shown an indebtedness to Wagner. Joey DeMaio, the bassist and main composer for the heavy metal band, Manowar, has attested to Wagner's influence on his music; German bands like Rammstein and Joachim Witt also claim inspiration from Wagner's music. Even a lot of '70s arena rock is concerned with the epic concepts and lavish orchestrations that Wagner pioneered 100 years earlier.

More about Wagner's Ring Cycle
The Ring and I: The Passion, The Myth, The Mania on WNYC
The Entire Vocal Score Online
Wagner Archives Online


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