Another quick note on yesterday's topic of human lifespans and our nearness in time. I saw this item in a Colorado newspaper last night:

In Thinking of America: Songs of the Civil War" features tenor Robert Trentham and such songs as "Battle Hymn," "Dixie's Land," "Steal Away," and "When Johnnie Comes Marching Home."

They're just the songs you'd expect, aren't they? Because they've been periodized, frozen in a moment carefully crafted for our consumption. Consider this alternative evening: Wagner Premiers of the Civil War.

Seems impossible, doesn't it? All because of the packaged way we consume history.

I started researching Wagner's US premiers after learning Sheridan's horse Rienzi shared her name with Wagner's first opera (and the name of a popular historic figure). It's fascinating to see how much Wagner there was in the American marketplace during the Civil War. You can do this yourself. Google beckons; look at the dates and the locations. These were not dinner theatre engagements, nor were they limited to the eastern seaboard.

"Goober Peas" indeed.