Wagner’s women

wagner_richard_small.jpgCan it be that the great egoist of opera had a feminist streak? Is Br¸nnhilde the true heroine of the Ring? The truth lies in the music, argues Natasha Walter
[Guardian, 15 April 2006]
If I ever thought about Wagner before I first saw a performance of one of his operas, a certain image sprang to mind. A stage full of blond singers, perhaps including a monumental soprano with plaits and a helmet, but certainly centering on the triumph of an Aryan hero, accompanied by blaring music full of brass and percussion. There was something macho about the whole scenario, and I had no interest in it at all.