The term "Wagnerian" has come to mean anything that is in the musical style of German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Wagner sought to unify the arts of music and the drama by composing operas that he called "music-dramas." His interest in theater led him to write his first plays by the time he was a teenager. He sought instruction from great composition teachers so he could put music to his dramatic creations. Wagner later conceived of the idea of the "total work of art," which brought together poetry, music, and the visual arts to create stunning, dramatic performance pieces. His most recognized works include the operas Lohengrin (1848), the Ring cycle (1848-1874), and Tristan und Isolde (1859).
Further Information: Richard Wagner. [Online] Available http://www.geocities.com/vienna/Strasse/2906/wagner.html, October 23, 2000; Wagner Message Board. [Online] Available http://www.zazz.com/wagner/index.shtml, October 23, 2000; Dutton, 1960; Wagner: The Zenith of German Romanticism. [Online] Available http://classicalmus.hispeed.com/articles/wagner.html, October 23, 2000; Wheeler, Opal. Adventures of Richard Wagner. New York.