“Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? “, cleverly remarked Groucho Marx. Well, definitely not artists! Their divorce rate (which in past times also meant scandal) is significantly higher than the one of mere mortals. Why? I’m no artist and no expert on the subject (read: not married to an artist) so my answer is a pure speculation (but such a one I would dare to wager my husband upon): because they want (read: need) their freedom!
Freedom to create and live in a realm, which has nothing to do with spouses holding a grudge when they come home hungover and two days too late, forget to pay bills, forget birthdays and marriage anniversaries, forget they are married in the first place! Their need of freedom to create and to be true to themselves (which usually means being untrue to their spouses) is such, the concept of marriage must really seem like an institution to them, probably the one with bars on windows. Or, to put it in Groucho Marx’s style: of the “till death do us part” speech they probably only hear the “death” part!
To redeem themselves those poor institutionalized souls often dedicate a piece of their art to their spouses. And as paradoxes go, the most unfaithful ones usually put most efforts into it!
So we can be quite sure Wagner’s marital transgressions must have been … well…significant. Because Siegfried Idyll, which he wrote for his wife, and engaged an entire orchestra conveniently placed on the stairs leading to her bedroom for its premiere, is a piece of such profound beauty, one forgets (and forgives) anything upon hearing it!
So, if you have anything to be forgiven for by your spouse: Festival Maribor offers a fantastic opportunity to let him or her know that when you’ve uttered the “till death do us part” you actually meant it! Just bring her/him to the Union Hall on September 13th and enjoy the “forgive and forget” effect of Wagner’s masterpiece on your marriage!
PS: Trust us: that 13 in the date is not a bad omen! If you skip the concert because of it – blame your marital disaster on yourself.
Text by: Maja Pirš12.09.2017