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'It is impossible to imagine a world in which Wagner never happened. - He was at the same time a horror, a phenomenon and a genius. But he was Wagner and he has left us some of the greatest work ever created by the human imagination.' So says Denis Forman, bestselling author of The Good Opera Guide who concentrates here on the greatest operatic composer of all - Richard Wagner. Wagner's operas erupted into the 19th-century musical world. Almost single-handedly he changed opera from being an evening of light entertainment to intense, sensuous, highly emotional musical drama. His work was passionate and psychologically complex (Wagner also wrote his own libretti) with musical motifs (leitmotivs) to illustrate mood and character. He wrote fourteen operas including Tristan and Isolde, The Flying Dutchman, Meistersinger, Parsifal, and the mighty tetralogy, The Ring. A meglomanic Jekyll and Hyde character he died adulated and vilified equally. The Good Wagner Opera Guide is an unpre tentious, jargon-free approach to his operas for those who are opera-prone yet opera-ignorant.