Richard Wagner
1813 - 1883
German Composer
Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany. For three years he lived in Paris and in 1842 he moved to Dresden where he was appointed Kapellmeister.

After the revolution in 1848 he had to flee from Germany, moving to Paris and Zurich. After his return he won the backing of the eccentric King of Bavaria, Ludwig II, who became a fanatical admirer of his work.

Richard Wagner became the creator of the German music drama, that could bind all life reality and illusion into one symbiotic union. He achieved this result with a new musical technique whereby the leading motives recur, often modified by the needs of the drama, and provide a kind of unity to the entire work. His best known work 'Ring of the Nibelungen' is a four- evening cycle of music dramas.

To fulfil his ambition to give a complete performance of the
'Ring' (Walkure, Siegfried, Gotter-dammerung, with Rheingold as introduction), he started the now famous theatre at Bayreuth, which opened in 1876. 'Parsifal', his last opera, was staged in 1882, a year before his sudden death from a heart attack, in Venice.

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