Abstract Nineteenth-century German opera composer Richard Wagner was very knowledgeable about Buddhism and its teachings, at least for a European of that time, and he incorporated his knowledge of those teachings into his last five music dramas: The Ring of the Nibelung (a four-opera cycle) and his final opera, Parsifal . The Ring is traditionally performed separately from Parsifal , but this article explains how there is a basis to connect these five great works into one cycle, even to the extent where the performance of a five-opera cycle would one day become a reality. The basis for this connection includes Wagner’s own strong belief in reincarnation, as well as Buddhism’s general teaching and explanation of karma and rebirth.
Religion and the Arts – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
Keywords: Richard Wagner; Buddhism; reincarnation; karma; the Ring ; Parsifal
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