There are many conflicting views on Richard Wagner’s life but I have certainly been spellbound by his crazy, bipolar and controversial mind that enabled him to produce all his profound works of genius with utter integrity. ‘The thin line between madness and genius’! Thankfully, none of his characters displays the one-sided goodies-versus-baddies mentality equivalent to ‘Cowboys and Indians’. All his characters are in need of balance to resolve their ingrained conflicts. Conflict is inside each of Wagner’s characters. The resulting tension is the essence of the drama in all of Wagner’s works. The alternative is boring. Conflicts are inherent inside all of us. Balancing them is the best possibility in resolving them.
Typical of Wagner is how very many questions he asks. These need to be considered by his audiences or, in this case, by the readers of this book. I am nearly 80 but I am forever looking for adequate answers to Wagner’s questions. I’ve had many telephone calls with Paul and he is undoubtedly the man to examine the many questions that Wagner posed. These questions are now waiting to be explored by you, the reader.
Read Paul’s book! He has lots of convincing answers to many of these questions Wagner asks. And after reading this book, each of you will be better qualified to come up with your own personal ideas. Paul has challenged us all with his own findings: he has certainly challenged me. He has also provided us with many facts about Wagner as man and artist. ‘Ask and you will find.’
Paul has already inspired me to write my own personal biography, which I have now started, about my life as a singer, particularly of the works of Wagner. In so doing, I am in a constant state of excitement while exploring deeper. Therefore, what I am most intrigued by is Paul’s assessment of Wagner as a man. I confess I didn’t know enough about Wagner’s life and had read unreliable assessments. However, what I’ve long been sure of is what I have studied in his works and tried to portray throughout my career: sheer genius!