May 22, 1813; his parents were Friedrich (died of typhus after Richard was born) and Johanna (later married Ludwig Meyer).
February 13, 1883 in Venice, Italy due to heart attack.
Also Known As:
He was a chorus master at the Würzburg theatre, a Dresden court joint Kapellmeister, composer, opera conductor, writer, librettist, critic and skilled debater. In his own words; "I am the most German being, I am the German spirit."
Type of Compositions:
He is famous for his operas
; he also wrote orchestral music, piano music, choral music
and music for string quartet. His operas demand vocal strength and endurance from vocalists.
He received early exposure to music from his stepfather, Ludwig. His passion for music grew deeper when, as a boy, he met Weber who was then conductor at the Royal Theatre in Dresden. He studied music with the Thomaskantor, C.T. Weinlig. After finishing his studies, Wagner began writing operas. Wagner is also said to have been influenced by the works of Beethoven
Among his famous operas are: Die Feen (The Fairies), Das Liebesverbot (Love's Interdict), Rienzi, Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Der Ring des Nibelungen (a cycle of 4 operas): Das Rheingold, Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, (The Twilight of the Gods); Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Parsifal.
His mother was Johanne Pätz but there is still some confusion who his real father was. It's either Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner who died after Richard Wagner was born, or Ludwig Meyer whom his mother married shortly after.
Wagner's first wife was an actress named Minna Planer and his second wife was Cosima von Bülow, the daughter of Franz Liszt.
The Festival Theatre (The Festpielhaus) in Bayreuth was built by Gottfried Semper based on Wagner's specifications and is still being used to stage Wagner's operas.
Wagner's life was marred by bad debts and affairs with married women. Tristan und Isolde is said to have been inspired by Wagner's affair with Mathilde, the wife of Otto Wesendonk. Cosima herself was married to Hans von Bulow when she had an affair with Wagner. She eventually divorced von Bulow and married Wagner in 1870. They had a son named Siegfried who was the inspiration behind Wagner's Siegfried Idyll.