Wagner's Ring Cycle

Few artists in the history of art have been quite as revolutionary, ambitious and controversial as Richard Wagner, and fewer still have been as arrogant and megalomaniacal, but it's difficult to call someone arrogant when he's got the talent and the musical goods to back it up. Maybe he was just really honest about how awesome he was :)

Wagner wasn't just a musician--he was a dramatist. For him, art wasn't compartmentalized the way it is for us today. True art, in his vision, was a synthesis of various media converging to produce a mental and spiritual transformation capable of uniting an entire nation.

With allusions to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy to make it accessible to a broader audience, and seamlessly using the music itself to tell most of the story, the following excellently produced RadioLab documentary explores the subtleties embedded in the musical revolution and the unparalleled event that is Wagner's Ring Cycle. Hold on to your seats!

Stay tuned for Stephen Fry's more personal and philosophical approach to Wagner and his politics, but if you're energized by the sound of opera, check out the most powerful scene from Mozart's Don Giovanni.
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