Monday, 29 April 2013

Richard Wagner Goes To Scotland

At first sight this one may seem to be for lovers (or haters) of Opera, but there are distinct possibilities here.  The item is by Jessica Duchen, who is a writer and correspondent for The Independent; sometimes on TV; and who writes an informative blog on classical music.

It is about “The Flying Dutchman”, based on a legend about a Master Mariner condemned to sail the seas until he can find true love and sacrifice.  He is allowed to put into to shore once every seven years to try his luck.

Richard Wagner, looking for a lighter subject than usual, wrote an opera with that title and the version known today is the one based on the Dutchman’s coming ashore in Norway.  It seems that the original version, long lost until recently, has him visiting Scotland.

Jessica’s piece is longish but well enough written to be skip read, but my interest what can be made of all this.

What occurs to me is whether this gives the opportunity to create a 21st Century version of Bayreuth in The Highlands and a rival to Glyndebourne in Sussex, Salzburg in Austria or Tanglewood in the USA

With many and various estates to choose from in Scotland to take over the obvious one to me for the Scottish Government to requisition as being fundamentally surplus to requirements for its existing purposes is Balmoral.

No doubt if they tried hard enough in the archive records they could find some ownership or feuars rights or some such to justify a quick grab with minimum compensation.  It has had enough practice at it on behalf of certain golf club entrepreneurs.

A state of the digital art and the rest theatre could be constructed linked to the Castle by imaginative high line walkways.  The Castle itself could be turned into a combination of luxury suites with top grade conference facilities for the travelling focus groups of world leaders.  Who needs Davos?

The grounds could allow the building of a series of contrasting style modernist hotels to “make a statement” designed by the usual favourites of the City of London.  Aligned to that might be a couple of golf courses, the space could be made by the usual clearances of local populations.

Last but not least a magnificent theme park could be created dedicated to perhaps the many Prime Ministers with connections or direct origins to Scotland.  The Brown Roller Coaster, the Blair Dodgem Alley, the Macmillan Family Silver Arcade, the Earl of Bute American Experience and many others

Last but not least might be a modern production of The Ring Cycle based on Rab C. Nesbitt.  I can’t wait…..

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