(Not) Repeating the past in Barrie Kosky’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter serves as a companion to Michael Halliwell’s work on Barrie Kosky’s Bayreuth production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Chap. 8. It uses close reading to demonstrate Kosky’s techniques of staging and structuring, especially repetition and doubling, and his theatrical modes of argumentation and rhetoric. This draws on the theme of repetition as a feature of Kosky’s direction discussed in Jennifer McMahon’s theorising of Kosky’s early Australian work in Chap. 3 and Charlotte Farrell’s discussions of his later Australian work in Chap. 5. I add to McMahon’s and Farrell’s analyses to demonstrate Kosky’s continuing use of repetition and doubling as flexible tools rather than as directorial tics that can easily be either understood as signifying in a fixed way or dismissed as primarily a stylistic feature. This is not a production that draws a clear causal trajectory between Wagner, his works and the Nazi regime. The production is not a show trial of Wagner with a foregone conclusion: instead, it is an invitation to exercise our faculty of judgment rather than pass sentence, and, importantly, to experience the challenges of judging the past while not avoiding our responsibilities to the future by rejecting this as simply too hard.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBarrie Kosky's transnational theatres
EditorsJames Phillips, John R. Severn
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030750282
ISBN (Print)9783030750275
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameGlobal Germany in Transnational Dialogues
ISSN (Print)2522-5324
ISSN (Electronic)2522-5332


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