The Arty Semite

Stephen Fry Wrestles With Wagner

By Curt Schleier

Stephen Fry has one of those faces you likely recognize but don’t know why. Did he live in the old neighborhood? Did you go to school with him? Or, as is the case, is he someone almost famous?

Courtesy Wavelength Films

Fry was a Golden Globe nominee for playing the title role in the 1998 film, “Wilde.” He’s also appeared in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” and has a role in next year’s Hobbit movie, “The Desolation of Smaug.” But the actor/writer is best known in his native England.

Fry is at the center of a documentary, “Wagner & Me,” opening December 7 in New York and in several other major cities in coming weeks. Fry is a Wagner enthusiast. He claims he was 11 or 12 when he heard his music “on my father’s gramophone. It released forces in me. No music has done it like Wagner’s.”

The problem is that his “passion was shared by Hitler. I’m Jewish and lost relatives in the Holocaust.”

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