Contrapunto Ilustración de Víctor Beltrán

Publicado en enero 2014 | Ilustración de Víctor Beltrán

61

Richard Wagner reimaginado

Si el compositor alemán viviera hoy en Bogotá andaría con zapatos Converse y, con mochila en hombro, entregado a su rebeldía.

por Robert Max Steenkist

En el año 2013 se celebra el aniversario número 200 de una de las figuras más polémicas de la música clásica. En todas las ciudades del mundo (incluyendo Bogotá) se montan óperas de su autoría, se dictan charlas sobre la relevancia de su obra, se organizan jornadas de protesta porque un compositor que se declaró antisemita (ojo, NO nazi) no debería gozar de ninguna acogida… pero poco se habla sobre su talante revoltoso. Además de haber sido un compositor odiado y celebrado con efervescencia, Richard Wagner fue autor de textos que incitaban a la apertura sexual y de clases, protagonizó protestas en contra del poder de turno, y tuvo que convertirse en fugitivo por profesar ideas que simpatizarían mucho con las protestas de estudiantes, mineros, cafeteros y agricultores de Colombia. Como pocas figuras incluso después de su muerte, Wagner sigue levantando ampolla, pues nadie logra fijarlo en una sola casilla. Doscientos años después, nos preguntamos, ¿cómo sería hoy en una ciudad como Bogotá ese Richard Wagner, con todo su genio y su rebeldía? A continuación una aproximación —desde la perspectiva de un caricaturista y un escritor— a la respuesta.

Anarquía con mayúscula

Richard Wagner no siempre fue un músico exitoso. Alemania era, en su época, un terreno difícil para que músicos innovadores encontraran acogida. Como cualquier genio incomprendido de nuestra época creyó que en la metrópoli, en la gran ciudad del momento sí iba a encontrar alguien que apreciara su talento. Pero París (la Nueva York de esos días, digamos) lo recibió con la pobreza. Cientos de músicos se rebuscaban el pan si no hacían parte de una rosca diminuta y menos penetrable que la de su patria natal. Para su fortuna (y la de sus futuros seguidores) París también albergaba a intelectuales, activistas y artistas que se reunían a expresar su descontento frente a la sociedad pacata y desigual. Uno de estos grupos lo acogió y le ofreció interlocutores para que robusteciera los ánimos revoltosos que ya lo caracterizaban. Entre los integrantes de estos grupos estaba Mikhail Bakunin, un príncipe ruso que había renunciado a su fortuna y a sus privilegios para ser coherente con los principios que profesaba (y ganar credibilidad frente a sus simpatizantes); la sociedad que había sido construida hasta ese momento (pleno siglo XIX) había sido constituida sólo para el beneficio de unos pocos y a expensas de muchos explotados. Para él, la única salida para ese mal era destruir las bases de los poderes reinantes (deseaba ver a París ardiendo hasta el piso) y purificar el mundo para que la sociedad volviera a empezar. Esas son las ideas que sustentan la famosa “A” que Wagner saldría a repartir si viviera hoy en día.

Trotamundos tipo Converse

Richard Wagner fue un trotamundos. Vivió en ciudades como Leipzig, Dresden, Würtzburg, Königsberg, Riga (en ese entonces parte del Imperio Ruso), Londres, París, Zürich, Venecia, Beibrich, München, Triebchen y Bayreuth. Si estuviera hoy con nosotros seguramente ese Wagner movedizo, casi siempre huyéndole a acreedores, pero también corriendo de un lado a otro buscando fuentes de inspiración (dentro de las que se contaban mujeres de todas las edades), hubiera optado por zapatos marca Converse que le aguantarán el trote. Y seguramente se los hubiera comprado rojos.

Ilustración de Víctor Beltrán

Ilustración de Víctor Beltrán

El buscapleitos sublime

Desde joven Richard Wagner fue un buscapleitos. Durante sus años escolares le llamaban “El Cosaco”, no sólo por su afán por estar aislado del resto de sus iguales, sino también por reaccionar de forma violenta en su contra cuando le reclamaban algo o se burlaban de su amargura. Aún siendo una figura pública, cuyas opiniones y acciones repercutían para bien y para mal en un grueso de la población, no dudaba en expresar sus odios de manera fervorosa.

Quizás lo más difícil de entender es cómo un tipo tan “alzado” (y hasta mala clase) pudiera también componer piezas musicales tan sublimes, capaces de resistir el filtro de los siglos y conmover los sentimientos más nobles de audiencias del mundo entero.

El pagano confeso

Si Richard Wagner viviera hoy en Bogotá andaría de mochila. Andaría diciendo que los tejidos ancestrales nos acercan a la madre tierra y a sus poderes. Porque, a pesar de que lo podamos asociar hoy en día a músicas solemnes y de catedral, debemos entender que él era un pagano confeso. Creía, a sumo, en una divinidad total, a la que podíamos alcanzar a través de los sentidos. Entregado a su rebeldía, y seguramente admirador de nuestras culturas indígenas, Wagner abrazaría la mochila, buscaría identificarse con los movimientos que fluyen en contra de las tendencias principales y defendería el pensamiento cosmológico.

Robert MaxRobert Max Steenkist (Bogotá, 1982) estudió literatura en la Universidad de los Andes de Bogotá y completó una maestría en estudios editoriales en la Universidad de Leiden. Trabajó en el Centro Regional para el Fomento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe (CERLALC/UNESCO) y fue profesor de la Universidad de los Andes. Actualmente divide su tiempo entre el Colegio José Max León, la agencia de fotografía FotoMUST, la agencia de viajes de turismo sostenible BogaTravel y la fundación Bogotham Arte y Cooperación. También trabaja para la Ópera de Colombia y el Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá. Ha publicado los libros Caja de piedras (cuentos, 2001) y Las excusas de desterrado (poesía, 2006). Su trabajo ha sido publicado en Alemania, Colombia, España, Grecia, Holanda, México, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana y Venezuela. Vive en Bogotá con su esposa Carolina y su perro Patán.



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