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The Redeemer Reborn: Parsifal as the Fifth Opera of Wagner’s Ring Cycle  by Paul Schofield

Published by Amadeus Press, January 2008

Traditionally, Wagnerian scholarship has always treated the Ring and Parsifal as two separate works. The Redeemer Reborn: Parsifal as the Fifth Opera of Wagner’s Ring shows how Parsifal is in fact actually the fifth opera of the Ring. Schofield explains in detail how these five musical dramas portray a single, unbroken story which begins at the start of Das Rheingold when Wotan breaks a branch from the World Ash-tree and Alberich steals the gold of the Rhine, thus separating Spear and Grail, and ends with the reunion of the Spear and Grail in the temple of Monsalvat at the end of Parsifal. Schofield explains how and why the four main characters of the Ring are reborn in the opera Parsifal, needing to complete in Parsifal the spiritual journey begun in the Ring. He also shows how the redemption that is not attained in the process of the Ring is finally realized in the events of Parsifal.

A Wagnerian scholar for more than thirty years, Paul Schofield is a writer and musician as well as a former Zen Buddhist monk. He has been a contributor to and editor of Leitmotive, the scholarly journal published by the Wagner Society of Northern California. The Redeemer Reborn combines his extensive research into Wagner’s life and works with his own insights developed from nine years in Buddhist monastic training. He lives in Crescent City, California.