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Genres and Theatres: Wolfgang Rihm's Opera-Fantasy Dionysos

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Wolfgang Rihm’s Dionysos: Szenen und Dithyramben—eine Opernphantasie received its world premiere in 2010. Based on Nietzsche’s poetry collection Dithyrambs of Dionysus, the libretto combines elements of Nietzsche’s biography with mythology relating to Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry, who was so pivotal to the philosopher’s thinking. The opera also mixes historical allusions, to Wagner, for example, with reworked pre-existing music by Rihm. Dionysos extends beyond traditional operatic drama by the deployment of a number of genres and processes, including ritual theatre, symphonic transformation, expressionism, the Lied, the chorale and the aria. In doing so, the opera articulates the dual strands of individual feeling and collective emotion that have been such defining features of modernism.


(2017). Genres and Theatres: Wolfgang Rihm's Opera-Fantasy Dionysos. Contemporary Music Review, 279-310.

Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2017
Publication Date Dec 5, 2017
Journal Contemporary Music Review
Print ISSN 0749-4467
Publisher Routledge
Pages 279-310
Keywords Rihm, Dionysos, Opera, Nietzsche, Modernism, Genre
Publisher URL


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