Today is the 200th birthday of everyone’s favorite German marathon opera composer, Richard Wagner. I know I’m kind of ready to move on after all the Wagner-festivities of the past season… To celebrate his first centennial, in 1913, German film pioneer Carl Froelich directed this silent autobiographical movie:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_9PzkzsQxc&w=350&h=300]
Interestingly, to avoid royalty fees for using Wagner’s music, they instead commissioned Italian-born, German-based composer Giuseppe Becce to create the original, Wagnerian-ish score. As if that wasn’t enough, Becce even played the title role! Such an auspicious omen for an aspiring composer, literally stepping into the role of a great predecessor, but doesn’t seem to have rubbed off too much onto Becce.