The Paris Opera: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers Growth and Grandeur, 1815-1914 - Vol. 2

By Spire Pitou | Go to book overview

W

Wagner, Richard (b. 22 May 1813, Leipzig; d. 13 February 1883, Venice), composer, arrived in Paris for the first time to seek fame and fortune on 17 September 1839. The composer was unschooled in the French language and without sufficient funds, but these obstacles were minor when compared to his complete ignorance of the questionable manner in which success was most often won at the Opéra. Yet he had confidence in himself and faith in the letters he had already sent to Eugène Scribe,* even if the odds were so overwhelmingly against him.

His financial plight was a source of constant distraction, however, and Rienzi failed to impress the proper people. Der Fliegende Holländer was produced but without effect in 1842. Wagner tried to raise money by writing articles, arranging music, and borrowing whenever he could, even from his cell in debtor's prison, but his initial campaign for recognition in the French capital failed miserably and brought severe suffering and hardship to him and his wife, Minna. The only fruitful results of their impoverished sojourn in Paris was the completion of Der Fliegende Holländer by the composer and his renewed awareness of his ties to Germanic tradition that became most evident in his reactions to the rehearsals of Ludwig van Beethoven's* Ninth Symphony at the Conservatoire.

After receiving word from Dresden that his Rienzi had been accepted for performance at the court theatre there sometime after Easter 1842, Wagner left Paris to return to his native land on

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The Paris Opera: An Encyclopedia of Operas, Ballets, Composers, and Performers Growth and Grandeur, 1815-1914 - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • M 790
  • N 916
  • O 955
  • P 990
  • Q 1080
  • R 1081
  • S 1171
  • T 1286
  • V 1338
  • W 1386
  • X 1404
  • Y 1406
  • Z 1409
  • Appendix: The Repertory, 1815-1914 1422
  • Index 1467
  • About the Author 1555
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