Most opera fans know that Richard Wagner may have been a genius composer, but the less known fact is that occasionally he was fairly awful towards musicians and orchestra conductors.
Morley Torgov, the creator Inspector Hermann Preiss, reveals in The Mastersinger From Minsk, much more about Richard Wagner’s character than we know, while developing his plot and production of an opera.
He has written a fine summer read with tight plotting authentic feel of the era, customs, and enough twists and turns to keep the action moving at a fast clip.
The plot revolves around figures from the world of classical music in mid-1800’s involving R. Wagner, Cosima von Bulow and others.
When Inspector Hermann Preiss is informed that there exists a disturbing message, Wagner received the news that on June 21 he would experience “ruin”, which happens to be the date of the opening of his newest oeuvre.
Soon, dead bodies start to appear, and the chief of police of Munich to solve these murders puts the inspector under intense pressure.
The imaginative plot of the author is an effective way to present complicated questions about the world famous composer and the operatic world.
The characters keep the reader on tenterhooks, compelling him to turn page after page.
In the end, the opera opens to great success captivating the audience, but before that happens Inspector Preiss faces many disturbing events that confuse his investigations.
The Mastersinger from Minsk (without giving away too much) ends well to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
The other laudable virtue of the book is about music, opera, politics and the life of Wagner in a delicious wrapper of entertainment and suspense.