Richard WAGNER
22 May 1813 - 13 February 1883 (age 69)

Richard Wagner was a 19th century German composer, conductor and theatre director. Best known for his operas. He wrote his own librettos and even built his own opera house.





Portrait of Richard Wagner
Portrait by Paul Helm ©
click on image for more info


Born: Leipzig, Germany, 22 May 1813 (Gemini)
Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner, clerk in Leipzig police, died of typhus 6 months after RW born
biological father was probably Ludwig Geyer Johanne Pätz
Mother: Johanna Rosine, remarried in Aug 1814 to Ludwig Geyer, actor and playwright, moved to Dresden.
Siblings: eight
First Wife: Minna Planer, no children.
Second Wife: Cosima von Bülow the daughter of Franz Liszt, two children with Hans von Bülow and three children with Richard Wagner
Children: Isolde, Eva, Siegfried
Died: 13 February 1883, Venice, Italy. Heart attack.
Grave: at family home. Bayreuth, Germany. see findagrave


  • Rienzi
  • Der Fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman)
  • Tannhauser
  • Lohengrin
  • Tristan and Isolde
  • Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (The Mastersingers of Nurnberg)
  • Parsifal

Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle):

  • Das Rheingold
  • Die Walkure
  • Siegfried
  • Gotterdammerung (The Twilight of the Gods)

2013 Bicentenary of both Verdi and Wagner

Two of the greatest opera composers celebrate their bicentenaries in 2013. These two rival giants will vie for our attention as concert halls, radio and TV stations and the media plie us with a bonanza of performances and programs.

Verdi and Wagner

An interesting essay by Peter McKenzie-Brown comparing the similarities and differences in the lives of these two composers born within a few months of each other.


- “I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles;
I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art;
I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men;
I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrated to Her for ever, and never can deny Her;
I believe that through Art all men are saved.”

- “Joy is not in things; it is in us”

- “Imagination creates reality.”

- “I write music with an exclamation point!"

- "“Richard Wagner: A composer whose music is better than it sounds” (Mark Twain)

“Wagner is a composer who has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours” Rossini

Images of Wagner

An interesting collection of images from art, cartoon, caricature, postage stamps, album covers etc.

2013 Opera Calendar

2016 Opera Calendar

Available soon.

This calendar has 12 of my portraits, all of opera composers, including Richard.

Also Puccini, Mozart, Berlioz, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Rossini, Offenbach, Bizet, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi.

Available from Etsy



You will find lots of related items on eBay, some new, some used, some common, some rare. Always good for a browse - you never know what you may find!

The Ride of the Valkyries

Lohengrin Prelude 3rd Act

Lohengrin - Bridal Chorus
"Here comes the bride!" Dallas Opera

Tristan And Isolde: Liebestod
Birgit Nilsson

Links, sources  - and where to go for more information



Wagner Museum

Bayreuth Festival

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