Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wagner, Buddhism, and "Parsifal"

The talk given by Paul Schofield on April 19, 2008, for the Boston Wagner Society was a terrific success. Mr. Schofield, a Buddhist monk and the author of "The Redeemer Reborn: 'Parsifal' as the Fifth Opera of Wagner's 'Ring,'" gave a very thought-provoking lecture on how the main influence on Wagner was not Schopenhauer or Feuerbach, as is commonly assumed, but Buddhist thought. This novel idea needs to be taken very seriously, as it makes eminent sense and there is a lot of documentation to back it up.
The audience at this well-attended lecture listened with rapt attention and asked so many questions that the event went long past the expected ending time.
We hope that Mr. Schofield will expand on his thesis and write a second book, this time on how Wagner's music, rather than librettos, was influenced by Buddhism.