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Following Wagner's footsteps in Leipzig, Dresden and Bayreuth

When we think of Richard Wagner, most of us think of Bayreuth and its renowned festival. Wagner's 200th birthday is coming up in 2013, a good occasion for us to visit some of the sites where he lived and worked.

We start with the city where the composer was born: Leipzig. Richard Wagner went to school here, at least when he wasn't cutting class. He preferred to take harmony lessons on the sly. These were the first steps on a long and often hard career. Today, a walking tour covers 25 sites in Leipzig connected to Wagner.


In 1842, Richard Wagner made his breakthrough as an opera composer with 'Rienzi - the Last of the Tribunes' at the Royal Saxon Court Theater, now Dresden's famous Semperoper. And Wagner remains a regular on the bill.


Inevitably, we head to Bayreuth. Originally, the festival was meant to be held in the Margravial Opera House, but it proved too small. So the composer simply had the town build him a Festspielhaus atop a "Green Hill" especially for his operas. And the rest is - literally - history.

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