Everything is related: Wagner and Canadian Railways
David Jeanes <david@...
2006-09-01 13:33:40 GMT
I have a reputation for trying to prove wild theories about people and railway
So here is a big one: inspired by my plans to attend Wagner's complete Ring Cycle
at the new Toronto 4 Seasons opera/ballet house this month.
I should mention that as a member of the United States Institute for Theatre
Technology in 1965, at their annual convention in Toronto, I heard National Ballet
Director Celia Franca, ("Miss Franca" to her close associates"), plead for the
construction of a ballet/opera house.
Sensing the likelihood of a delay, within three years I had abandoned my budding
career in theatre technology, attracted by the bright lights, loud music and
melodrama of the computer and telecommunications industries. This despite the
fact that Ottawa's new opera house was already under construction, to open in
1969, the year I graduated and started work in high-tech.
Within another five years I had begun to agitate for better bus service, revitalized
transcontinental trains, and high speed rail for the corridor. (Light rail would be
added to the mix later on). All sure winners compared to Toronto's nebulous need
for an Opera House.
Richard Wagner's first Opera, Das Liebesverbot, appeared in 1836, the same year
as Canada's first railway, the Champlain & St. Lawrence.
Wagner completed Das Rheingold in 1854, the same year as the Bytown and
Prescott Railway, which brought Ottawa out of the backwoods.