Richard Wagner

Jeremy Tambling (University of Hong Kong)
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Wagner was born in Leipzig in 1813 into a musical and theatrical family and studied music at Leipzig University. His first musical composition was his

Symphony in C Major

which was performed in his graduation year, 1833. He then worked as a conductor and opera coach, but not with much success, and wrote his first operas

Die Feen


The Fairies

, 1833, from a tale by Carlo Gozzi),

Das Liebesverbot


The Ban on Love,



Measure for Measure

). Living in Paris (1839-1842) he wrote music journalism and his opera


(1840). All of these early operas are indebted to Italian and French “grand” opera, and


(based on Bulwer's novel) is especially indebted to Meyerbeer, the German-Jewish composer of

Les Huguenots

(1836), who was later criticised by Wagner in his essay “Jewishness…

2491 words

Citation: Tambling, Jeremy. "Richard Wagner". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2001 [, accessed 25 April 2024.]

4569 Richard Wagner 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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