By Richard Wagner

ISBN: 9780714544298

132 pages

RRP: £10.00 £8.00

Wagner wanted Siegfried, the third music drama in The Ring of the Nibelung, to be the most popular of the cycle. Despite its many beautiful and dramatic scenes, it has not fulfilled its composer’s aspiration: Professor Ulrich Weisstein examines why. Professor Anthony Newcomb contributes a detailed analysis of Wagner’s leitmotifs and the different purposes they fulfil. Derrick Puffett discusses how Wagner composed Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in the eight-year hiatus between his beginning and completion of Siegfried’s second act. The thematic guide complements those found in the other Opera Guides to The Ring Cycle.

Contents: Educating Siegfried, Ulrich Weisstein; ‘Siegfried’: The Music, Anthony Newcomb; ‘Siegfried’ in the Context of Wagner’s Operatic Writing, Derrick Puffett; Siegfried: Poem by Richard Wagner; Siegfried: English translation by Andrew Porter

For a full list of Calder Opera Guides in association with English National Opera click here


  • All these will provide the new opera-goer with food for thought.

    Daily Telegraph

  • Brilliantly produced and superb value.

    Sunday Times

  • Wholehearted recommendation of this valuable new series.


Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner (1813–83) was a composer who drew inspiration from Christian and Nordic mythology, as well as the philosophy of Schopenhauer, to pioneer dramatically new forms of music. His concept of the “Total Artwork” led to the construction of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house he designed specifically for productions of his own operas. He also wrote widely on music and art. His operas include Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the four parts of Der Ring des Nibelungen.