Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).
His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas, or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.
Tristan und Isolde (2007)
Tristan und Isolde by Wagner from Glyndebourne Festival Opera, performed at Glyndebourne Festival Theatre, Glyndebourne, 2007. Directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff, conductor Jiří Bĕlohlávek. Starring Nina Stemme (Isolde), Robert Gambill (Tristan), Katarina Karnéus (Brangäne), Bo Skovhus (Kurwenal), Ren...
Parsifal by R. Wagner, from Venezia Teatro La Fenice, performed at La Fenice, 2005. Directed by Denis Krief, conductor Gabor Ötvos, starring Doris Soffel, Richard Decker, Wolfgang Schöne, Matthias Hölle, Ulrich Dünnebach. Performed in German and Subtitled in English, German, Spanish, French and I...
Jacquelyn Wagner performs Wagner & Mahler (2020)
Jacquelyn Wagner (soprano), accompanied by Zlata Chochieva, performs R. Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder and Elegy in A flat, as well as G. Mahler's Menuetto from the 3rd symphony (arr. Friedman) and his Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Performed in German and subtitled in English.
Götterdämmerung by R. Wagner, from Aix-en-Provence Festival, 2009. Directed by Stéphane Braunschweig, conductor Simon Rattle, starring Anne Sofie Von Otter, Ben Heppner, Mikhail Petrenko, Katarina Dalayman, Emma Vetter, Dale Duessing and Gerd Grochowski. Performed in German.
Die Walküre (2007)
Die Walküre by R. Wagner, from Aix-en-Provence Festival, 2007. Directed by Stéphane Braunschweig, conductor Sir Simon Rattle, starring Andrea Baker, Willard White, Eva-maria Westbroek, Lilli Paasikivi, Eva Johansson, Eva Vogel, Erika Sunnegårdh, Robert Gambill, Heike Grötzinger, Joanna Porackova,...
Der fliegende Holländer (2015)
Der fliegende Holländer by R. Wagner, from , performed at Theater an der Wien, 2015. Directed by Olivier Py, conductor Marc Minkowski, starring Manuel Günther,Lars Woldt,Ingela Brimberg,Ann-Beth Solvang,Bernard Richter,Pavel Strasil. Performed in German and subtitled in English, German, French an...
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Das Rheingold (2002)
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner, from Staatsoper Stuttgart, 2002. Directed by János Darvas and Thorsten Fricke, conductor Lothar Zagrosek. Starring Wolfgang Probst, Motti Kastón, Bernhard Schneider, Robert Künzli, Esa Ruuttunen, Eberhard Francesco Lorenz, Roland Bracht.
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Die Walküre (2002)
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Die Walküre by Richard Wagner, from Staatsoper Stuttgart, 2002. Directed by János Darvas and Thorsten Fricke, conductor Lothar Zagrosek. Starring Robert Gambill, Attila Jun, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Angela Denoke, Renate Behle, Tichina Vaughn, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Wiebke Gö...
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Siegfried (2002)
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Siegfried by Richard Wagner, from Staatsoper Stuttgart, 2002. Directed by Hans Hulscher, conductor Lothar Zagrosek. Starring Jon Frederic West, Heinz Göhrig, Wolfgang Schöne, Björn Waag, Attila Jun, Gabriela Herrera, Helene Ranada, Lisa Gasteen. Performed in German.
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Götterdämmerung (2002)
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Götterdämmerung by Richard Wagner, from Staatsoper Stuttgart, 2002. Directed by Hans Hulscher, conductor Lothar Zagrosek. Starring Albert Bonnema, Roland Bracht, Hernan Iturralde, Franz-Josef Kapellmann, Luana DeVol, Eva-Maria Westbroek.
Das Liebesverbot (2016)
Das Liebesverbot by Richard Wagner, from Teatro Real Madrid, 2016. Directed by János Darvas, conductor Ivor Bolton. Starring Christopher Maltman, Peter Lodahl, Ilker Arcayürek, David Alegret, David Jerusalem, Manuela Uhl, Mario Miró, María Hinojosa. Performed in German.
Der fliegende Holländer (2010)
Der fliegende Holländer by R. Wagner from De Nederlandse Opera, performed at The Stopera, Amsterdam, 2010. Directed by Martin Kušej, conductor Hartmut Haenchen. Starring Robert Lloyd (Daland), Catherine Naglestad (Senta), Marco Jentzsch (Erik), Marina Prudenskaja (Mary), Oliver Ringelhahn (Der St...
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (2011)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by R. Wagner from Glyndebourne Festival Opera, performed at Glyndebourne Festival Theatre, Glyndebourne, 2011. Directed by David McVicar, conductor Vladimir Jurowski. Starring Gerald Finley (Hans Sachs), Marco Jentzsch (Walther von Stolzing), Johannes Martin Kränzle...
Tristan und Isolde (2007)
There are no bounds to the longing, the desire, the bliss, and the anguish of love. The world, power, fame, glory, honor, chivalry,loyalty, friendship...all are swept away. Only one thing is left alive...yearning, yearning, insatiable desire....“
Of all operas, perhaps the one ...