Lohengrin in Paris: Wagner and the Revanchards

Steven Huebner on the attempts to stage Richard Wagner's works in Paris between the 1870s and 1891.

éra. The reason for this long delay was not that following the punitive Treaty of Frankfurt the French public reacted with blind hostility to anything German; national pride did not find performances of works by the composers Weber, Flotow, and the Lortzing intolerable. The problem with the reception of Wagner's operas in France was not so much that he was German, but that he was Wagner.

äuser failed miserably, barely making it through three performances after the extraordinary number of 164 rehearsals. Whatever the reasons for the fiasco may have been, whether it was unsympathetic French taste, the obnoxious whistle-toting gentlemen of the Jockey Club, or antagonism between Wagner and individuals involved in the production, the failure left an enduring streak of resentment in the composer.

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