Jinsong Chen: From Wagner to Brecht: An Aesthetic Analysis of Elfriede Jelinek´s „Rein Gold“

Elfriede Jelinek’s stage-essay Rein Gold, a contribution to the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth, has been brought onto stage twice by the German director Nicolas Stemann: first as a six-hour improvised scenic reading in Prinzregententheater München in 2012 and then as a music theater at the Berliner Staatsoper (in Schillertheater) two years later. In both its literary and theatrical form, Rein Gold communicates strong political and aesthetic affinities with Richard Wagner and Bertolt Brecht. In this paper I will examine Brechtian and Wagnerian references within a postdramatic context and argue that the ultimate goal of both writer and director, while applying Brechtian techniques as a means to dislocate Wagner’s familiar theme and voice of the Ring, is to make them totally “EPIC.”

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19. September 2018

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