Kapellmeister in Dresden
Before starting composition on The Flying Dutchman, Wagner had sent the score of Rienzi to the Dresden Court Theatre, hoping that an accompanying letter of recommendation from Meyerbeer would win the opera's acceptance. For once, his hopes were not disappointed. In June 1841, the Dresden management agreed to produce the opera sometime in the next year. Thus, in April 1842, Wagner's fortunes in Paris having improved not one whit, he and Minna determined to travel to Dresden, as only there did they seem to have some chance of a future. The welcome they received in Dresden, however, was not encouraging. Minna's family was too poor to put them up, so they had to find their own expensive accommodations. Moreover, the advent of the young composer embarrassed the theatre management who, whatever their official commitments, were not very enthusiastic about Rienzi, whose production date they kept postponing. An abortive trip to Berlin, where Wagner hoped to have The Flying Dutchman produced, only intensified the bleakness of the homecoming. All the same, the acceptance of Rienzi by the Dresden Court Theatre increased Wagner's standing in his family's eyes, so, at the instigation of his brother-in-law, Hermann Brockhaus (then professor of Oriental languages at Leipzig University), various family members paid him a modest allowance until royalties from the opera started coming up.
Persistence was one of Wagner's virtues. When the two major singers of the Dresden Opera, Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, the idol of his youth, and the heroic tenor Joseph Tichatschek returned to town in July, he insisted rehearsals begin. This bold move paid off, for over the next