Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld and his wife Malwina were Wagner's original Tristan and Isolde in 1865. Joseph Albert/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Joseph Albert/Wikimedia Commons

Hear William Berger Discuss 'Tristan und Isolde'

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Sarah Joy Miller as Anna Nicole Smith in Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage, the final production from the New York City Opera, which closed its doors for good this fall. Stephanie Berger hide caption

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Stephanie Berger

The Valkyries, led by Brunnhilde (soprano Debra Voigt, lower left), are the warrior maidens of Richard Wagner's epic Ring cycle. Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera hide caption

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Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

William Berger on 'Parsifal'

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Richard Wagner was a larger than life figure, and his innovations as a composer changed Western music forever. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Self-Help Guide To Wagner

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Rudolph Cronau's drawing of Wagner's opera house, Bayreuth, flanked by his birthplace (left) and place of death. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Wikimedia Commons

Extreme Drama: The Life And Music Of Richard Wagner

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Tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Petra Stadler/courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Petra Stadler/courtesy of the artist

Jonas Kaufmann On Wagner: 'It's Like A Drug Sometimes'

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Washington National Opera on World of Opera -- 'La Boheme'

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Washington National Opera on World of Opera -- 'Das Rheingold'

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Chicago Symphony Tops U.S. Orchestras

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Insults And Praise On The Classical Campaign

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Janice Baird Debuts in a Troubled 'Tristan'

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New York Philharmonic Set for North Korea Show

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Wagner, High Notes, and a Ghost in Atlanta

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