George Hunka makes a persuasive case for connecting the dots between Wagner and Beckett, with particular reference to the Met's recent production of Tristan und Isolde.
Here, the unexpected bond between Waiting for Godot and the endless Act II love duet in Tristan:
As in either act of Godot, there is little more than talk for nearly an hour, but in Wagner this talk is filled with sublimely beautiful music, and in Beckett, devastatingly lyrical speech. Over a century of Tristan performances and half-a-century of Godot performances have demonstrated the profound power of such a theatrical essentialism.
The entire piece is worth reading if you fancy either Tristan or Godot or, as in my case, both.
For further reading: No Beckett content included, but the related topic of how Time operates in Wagner came up just yesterday on Sounds & Fury.
A slightly shorter version of George Hunka's post also appeared on April 1 in the Guardian. No joke.