Wie Verklärt is a metaphysical musical horror story, winding together suggestions from biography and Wagner’s oeuvre, in which Cosima Wagner did not die in 1930, but was rather left to wander the earth, forever to invite people into the cult of her husband.
Wie Verklärt: Wesendonck-Lieder
An expanded staging for camera by Glen Sheppard
Concept & Direction: Glen Sheppard
Design: Crispin Lord
Videography: Fritz Polzer
The central set piece I created was a dress that began as a green velvet, silk and lace construction, giving a nod to concert dresses from Wagner’s time. Over a series of shots it “grows” around Mathilde Wesendonck, to fill the 2m x 2m shed where she sits, trapping her inside. She later hands a loose thread to the cameraman, who unravels the dress over a single, continuous shot. The dress-room then collapses as the thread reaches the point where the door used to be, to reveal a larger studio space filled with projections and screens.