Richard Wagner was born in May 22, 1813 in Leipzig, Germany. Wagner is acknowledged as the master of German opera, and one of the most progressive composers in history.
As a youth Wagner was fascinated by literature, particularly the plays of William Shakespeare. Through his teens he was increasingly attracted to composing. His opera based on the novel "Rienzi, Last of the Tribunes," was produced in Dresden in 1842, and was a success. His next production, "The Flying Dutchman" (1843), was also a hit. Near the end of the 1840s Wagner began work on his monumental cycle of four musical dramas collectively titled "Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelungs)." This cycle, comprised of "Das Rheingold," "Die Walkure," "Siegfried" and "Die Gotterdammerung," took 22 years to complete, and stands as one of the most remarkable and influential achievements in Western music.
"Only on the shoulders of this great social movement can true art lift itself from its present state of civilized barbarianism, and take its post of honour." -Richard Wagner
1. Opera In A Prologue and Three Acts