Discussion: Artists and Personal Opinions

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Background Wagner’s operas often contained social and political ideas–  his opera, “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg” is viewed as monument to German political and cultural nationalism. Not only was Wagner a German Nationalist by expressing the stories of his country, he unfortunately, was a well-documented anti-Semitism.  He wrote personal essays that document this.  Additionally, after Wagner was dead, the Nazis used his music to promote their own racial and social agendas as his music highlighted Germany and his personal opinions lined up very closely with similar views by Hitler. When the Los Angeles Opera staged the Ring Festival in 2010, they drew heat for featuring a composer with strong personal opinions.  Protesters gathered outside the first performance to protest that government funding (through LA County Arts Commission) went to support the performance of a work by an anti-Semite. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich stated, ” To specifically honor and glorify the man whose music and racist anti-Semitic writings inspired Hitler and became the de facto soundtrack for the Holocaust…is an affront to those who have suffered or have been impacted by the horrors of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialistic Worker Party” An opposing view, from an audience member interviewed on their way home from the performance, “It’s great music despite his beliefs.”  Prompt Your post addresses the following: Can you think of an example of an artist that you disapprove of his/her opinions or actions? Tell us who and why. Did it change the way you feel or behaved in regards to that artist and their work?  In general, do the personal opinions or actions of an artist matter? Why or why not? Plus, reply to another student’s post. Source: https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/05/las-ring-cycle-begins-with-protests-outside-mixed-reaction-inside.html  (链接到外部网站。) Guidelines We are engaging in this discussion as a complete class, not in our small groups, so there is more opportunity for dialogue.  You’ll notice new names– remember to practice your good netiquette. 10 points for completing a post and 10 points for replying to another post in a meaningful way (more than 4 words, with actual content, not just…”good job” or “I agree”).

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