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My Pilgrimage: Chapter Six: The Lionhead Ring, Part One

By Michael Moriarty
web posted March 27, 2017

Beyond surveying the political nightmares down in the United States, my personally most enjoyable obsession during these last few decades of my life is and shall continue to be The Lionhead Ring.

What is The Lionhead Ring?

It is an interrelated collection of nine operas which I have yet to be even close to completing. It will take at least ten more years to finish.

I’ve completed two volumes of libretti for the first two operas – Wagner In Jail and George Dolan in Chicago –  and am now plunging into the text for the third opera, Peter Dolan.

My ultimate dream for this “Ring” of operas?!

Nine of them!

Why nine?

That is, obviously, a rather long story.

Not, however, nearly as long as the nine operas themselves.

I will try to keep this explanation as brief as possible.

My first love in life has always been symphonic music.

It came long before I expressed any interest in the theater or acting.

Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto is, for one, a “shining” example of my musical tastes during childhood.

With that fact in mind, I highly recommend the film Shine starring Geoffrey Rush in a most thrilling, Academy Award-winning performance as the tortured and profoundly troubled pianist, David Helfgott.

There was much controversy over the portrayal of Helfgott as a victim of his father, due largely to the young man’s undeniable genius as a pianist.

I am certain that most audience members wouldn’t care about the ultimately irrelevant controversy. Shine is too perfect an entertainment to be judged as anything except as an exceptional film. The movie’s music and Mr. Rush’s breathtaking performance erase all desires to do anything but surrender to the extraordinary journey which it provides us with so gracefully.

Geoffrey in a Rush to Bliss.

If genius is nothing more than attention to detail, then Mr. Rush’s performance almost transports him into godlike status.

His effortless ability to maintain conditions of pure ecstasy, particularly during the second half of the film?!

The undeniable truth of his bliss, after all he’s been through, his euphoria over simply being alive?!

I tear up even now thinking about that performance’s liberating reality!

And, for those who dread depressing movies, this one, Shine, is, ultimately, a most uplifting and life-affirming triumph of one man over a massively complicated set of challenges.

All of that said, where did my compulsion to create nine operas come from?!

I’m fairly certain it was handed down to me!

At least that is how I expect to finally portray it in the libretti.

Although my father’s opera-obsessed years predated even my parents’ marriage and my conception, the condition of his addiction to grand opera was shared by tales he’d tell about his long drives, all the way from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/St. Paul to Chicago and its then famous opera company.


I have no real grounds to justify my portrayal of my father as a rabid fan of Richard Wagner. However, my personal experiences with him wouldn’t put that possibility too far out of reach.

However, by the time I was born, my father’s exceptionally large collection of classical and jazz recordings had one, bizarrely strange omission in it.

There wasn’t one, single album of opera!

Not one!

All the symphonies, concerti and collections featuring exceptional soloists of the time such as Tito Schipa, the Italian tenor, and the great Norwegian soprano, Kirsten Flagstad?!

Among them there was not one, complete opera recording!

Selections from opera.

However, not one, entirely recorded opera!!

It was, however, my father’s silence about World War II, his own avoidance of military service during it and many of his political opinions when voiced after a few drinks?!

That… and the unavoidably painful fact that the two of us, my father and I, never really got along with one another?!

The classically Oedipal relationship that just seems to demand a dramatization of one sort or another.

But why with an opera?!?!

And a rather grand operatic concept at that!

I now blame it all on Richard Wagner.

My experience with Wagner… and numerous other conflicts of both soul and intellect, all of which were thrown into further turmoil by my love/hate relationship with this legend of both musical genius and, by now, infamously well-known racial hatred, Wagner’s virulent anti-Semitism which the composer paraded shamelessly in his famous and, by now, infamous, four opera cycle: Ring of the Nibelungen.

I am firmly convinced that there never could have been an Adolf Hitler nor a Third Reich without the infinite racial hatred and anti-Semitic contempt that Wagner displays shamelessly in his most famous cycle of operas, the Ring of the Nibelungen.

This photo in last week’s editorial for Enter Stage Right?

Michael Moriarty in Holocaust
The Initial Inspiration for Nine Operas

Had I not experienced the Holocaust on as personal and intimate a level as I did while filming television’s mini-series, Holocaust?! Richard Wagner would have remained in the easily dismissive and contempt-filled category of “Anti-Semitic Genius”.

After, however, six weeks in Vienna as Colonel Eric Dorf of the Nazi SS?!

One can be “haunted” by a memory?!

And then, of course, there is “owned” by it!

If there is a low point in the history of the human race? I would personally list the over ten years of Adolf Hitler’s reign as Chancellor of Germany, 1933-1945.

And what, in these first two decades of the third millennium, do we have now?!?!?!

The recent Presidency of the undeniably pro-Islamic, Anti-Semitic and unquestionably Marxist American POTUS, Barack Hussein Obama!


In less than eight decades following the nightmares, horrors and unspeakable violence of World War II, an unknown, arrogant nobody, with the infuriating alias for Barry Soetoro, the Islamic-dripping title of Barack Hussein Obama… this Chicago street punk is elected President of the United States?!?!

Barack Obama
Barry Soetoro

Sold to us, by The Press and the bipartisan New World Order Fraternity, as Barack Hussein Obama?!?!?!

If that name doesn’t shove the complete meaning of Barry Soetoro’s arrival into American politics?!

Right up the backside of the entire Human Race?!

If the watchdogs of America, The Press, don’t wish to begin a full-court Press-press upon this frighteningly “sociopathic narcissist”?!

Then, mainly because of a treasonously neglectful “Press”, America is committing the very “suicide” which Abraham Lincoln predicted as the only possible way the United States could be destroyed.

American suicide.

A strong, nationalistic anti-dote to this pathology, Donald Trump?!?!

The Press portray Trump as the pathological one and the undeniable evidence and proof of Soetoro’s pathological dishonesty?!

Utterly ignored!

That said?!

This “Pilgrimage” within the creation of my opera cycle, The Lionhead Ring, will be continued next week in Part Two.

Please be patient with me.

All, shall, I hope, make even greater sense when, in about five years at the most, you’re able to hear the music and libretti of The Lionhead Ring. ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.



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