A film biography of the 100th Anniversary
of the birth of The Great Master.
Eight years old, Richard Wagner is present at the death of his stepfather,
Ludwig Geyer, whose last words are: "Will Richard be musically gifted?"
Two years later, Richard spends an important night in Leipzig with his Uncle Adolf an Aunt
Frederike, sleeping in the ceremonial bed of August "the Strong" in the home of Jeannette Thom.
At the age of 17, Wagner studies
with Cantor Weinlich in Leipzig.
At a celebratory dinner by Polish revolutionaries fleeing
to Paris, Wagner discovers his talent for conducting.
In 1834 Wagner, now 21 years of age, takes on his first employment as conductor at Lauchtstdt - as he
had fallen in love at first sight, with the beautiful Minna Planer, the star of the theatre company.
The conductor gets engaged to the Minna
Planer - under extraordinary circumstances.
On 24. November 1836, Wagner leads his wife into their future home. To furnish it, Wagner has
incurred substantial debts, which is a great source of worry to the the practical Minna.
Invoice For the esteemed conductor Wagner at Knigsberg for
furnishing a domicile: 247 Reichstaler Blankenstein, Furniture Maker.
Years of constant travelling
Wagner is pursued by his creditios as far as Riga, where he has, since 1838, become conuctor
of the Theatre. As he doesn't possess a passport, he is forced to escape in secret.
Dear Wagner, Return fortwith! The police are in your
house, Minna is in despair. Your friend Mller.
In 1839, he lees from
Russia by sea to Paris.
The tumultuous journey by sea gives him
the ideas for his "The Flying Dutchman".
In Paris, Wagner plays his opera "Rienzi" for the composer Meyerbeer, who
gives him a letter of recommendation to the Director of the Grand Opera.
My exteemed Duponchel! Herewith I recommend to you the young Wagner and his opera
"Rienzi". Please take on its production! The opera is brilliant! Meyerbeer.
Meyerbeer's letter of recommendation,
however, has no effect on Director Duponchel.
Wagner visit the composer Liszt in his hotel
to get support, likewise without success.
Wagner is increasingly in need of help. "The Flying Dutchman" is tormenting his spirit,
and Minna's complaints are leading him to despair. He close to breaking-point...
Leipzig 26. February 1842 Dear Richard! I have just been informed that your opera "Rienzi" has been accepted by the
Royal Court Opera in Dresden. Come here at once; I enclose the money for your journey Your brother in law, Brockhaus.
On 20. October 1842, Wagner's "Rienzi" is performed by
the Royal Opera in Dresden and is a resounding success.
At the age of 30, Richard Wagner becomes
the Royal Court conductor in Dresen.
In an optimistic mood, he furnishes his house luxuriously,
which again instils fear and trepidation in Minna.
On 2. January 1843, however, Wagner's position is severely unnerved
by the premiere of "The Flying Dutchman" which is a fiasco.
This and other new worries
affect his musical endeavours.
Complaints about Wagner lead the Intendant Von Lttichau to
admonish him sternly and to inform him of the King's displeasure.
To our Indentant Our conductor Wagner appears to have formed the opinion by
overestimating his own talent, that he is on a par with the great Meyerbeer.
Consequently, he has made such grave mistakes that it would
certainly be worth considering to ask him to offer his resignation.
On the other hand, his zeal and extraordinary achievements, which
have been brought to our notice, warrant giving him another chance.