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This unusual volume is a departure from any volume we have ever published. It contains the musical and texts variants from one published or manuscript source to another, as they are found in Wagner's DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN.
To this unique volume by Susan S. Webb, the author brings years of
experience having worked with first rate exponents of Wagner's Ring
Cycle, probably most notable being Wolfgang Wagner, himself,
who invited Miss Webb to join the music staff of the Bayreuther
Festspiele for the 1988 "Ring" and provided her with the incomparable
experience of spending weeks and weeks in the capitol city of
Susan S. Webb has been an assistant conductor and prompter with the
San Francisco, Chicago Lyric and Metropolitan Opera companies. Her
full-time engagement with the Metropolitan Opera began when Music
Director James Levine invited her to be an assistant for the "Ring":
four new productions which were videotaped and shown on public
television, and recorded by Deutsche Grammaphon.
In her thirty-five years in professional opera, Miss Webb has had ample
opportunity to appreciate the practical problems raised by editoral
variants in hours of rehearsal with such great Wagnerian singers as
Hildegarde Behrens, Rainer Goldberg, Ben Heppner, Peter Hoffmann,
James King, Christa Ludwig, Franz Mazura, James Morris, Birgit
Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek, Thomas Stewart, Jess Thomas, John
Tomlinson, Ekkehard Wlashiha, Heinz Zednik and many others.
As a music staff member of the Bayreuther Festspiele, she helped
to prepare the 1988 "Ring" (Barenboim/Kupfer), taking advantage of
her research in the National Archives to provide information on "Ring"
variants. When Miss Webb showed her proposal and some examples
of her comparison of variants to Herr Wolfgang Wagner, head of the
Festival and grandson of the composer, he said that he was pleased
that the work represented the best of both worlds; it was both scholarly
In addition to this volume, the author has provided libretto translations
(German/English) for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, including the
operas, Fidelio; Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Die Zauberflöte; Elektra;
Der Fliegende Holländer; Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; and
pp. Hard Binding Smyth-Sewn