A Melbourne tram driver has launched a most original and intriguing Wagner project: reinterpreting it for an unlikely trio of instruments.
Mark Papworth, a highly accomplished musician who studied in Melbourne, Perth and the United States, is at home on very different types of French horn: baroque, natural and modern.
He fell in love with Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle at 16 when he heard Georg Solti’s famous recordings, and “it’s blown my mind ever since”.
In 2011, after studying at the University of Indiana, he returned to Melbourne and began adapting sections of the Ring for French horn and piano. In 2016, when he had eight pieces, tuba player Per Forsberg expressed an interest. So Papworth reworked all eight, giving the “meaty bass parts” to the tuba, and adding four new movements.