Remember that stirring music da-da-da-da-DAH-dah when Robert Duvall's choppers zipped in over the water to blast a VC village in Apocalypse Now? The da-das were from Ride of the Valkyries in the second part of German composer Richard Wagner's four-opera masterpiece, Ring of the Nibelung.
No doubt you'll hear a lot of the Valkyries and “der Ring” if you come by the Richard Wagner Festival in Leipzig, Germany, May 16-26, 2013. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth there, the festival will feature 70 events such as a performance of the Gotterdammerung on May 22 – the composer's actual birthday – at the newly opened Paulinium at Leipzig University.
Among 67 other events slated before and after the festival will be what's billed as a “cross genre project” called “Wagner Reloaded: Apocalypta Meets Wagner” at the opening of the annual Wave Goth Festival scheduled July 5 and 6.
Besides musical presentations will be exhibitions such as “Richard Wagner: His Passions and Burdens” set for March 13-May 26 at Leipzig's Museum of City History, “Wagner's Mythology” April 21-July 8 at the Klinger Villa and “World Creators: Wagner” May 16-Sept. 15 at the Museum of Fine Arts.
According to a press release, Wagner is known as a reformer of 19th century European music and a “trailblazer of modernity.”
Leipzig was built in the 12th century as a center of trade and commerce. Badly damaged in World War II, the city has resurrected many of its stunning buildings, including a city hall that looks like a cathedral.
Don’t miss seeing the Battle of Leipzig monument, said to be the largest single monument in Europe. It marks a historic battle involving 600,000 soldiers and the defeat of Napoleon. Built in 1913 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle, it weighs 300,000 tons and is 91 meters (about 300 feet) high.