Born in May 22, 1813 in Leipzig, Richard Wagner developed, at a young age, a passion for the theatre art. Influenced by Weber and Beethoven he chose nevertheless to start a career as a composer. His first opera The Fairies was not performed until after his death while his second one, The Ban on Love (1835), was a failure.
He spent three years in Paris where he achieved Rienzi and The Flying Dutchman, and was then appointed Kapellmeister at the Royal Saxon Court, where he staged Tannhäuser in 1845. But his involvement in the left-wing May revolution prevented the creation of Lohengrin in Dresden and even forced him into exile in Switzerland.
There, he started to work on Der Ring des Nibelungen, a project he began a year earlier. It took him more than twenty years to achieve the cycle, as he was interrupted for a long period by the writing of Tristan and Isolde and The Master Singers of Nuremberg. With the support of Ludwig II of Bavaria, who idolized him, many of his works were staged in Munich.
In 1871, Wagner commissioned a theatre of his design in Bayreuth dedicated to the performance of his works. There, in 1876, was created the complete cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen as well as Parsifal, in 1882, his last opera and artistic legacy. Wagner died in 1883 in Venice following an angina pectoris.
Back to top