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An easy guide to Richard Wagner's famous opera. "There is no need to make any mystery about the subject; no need to involve it in cloudy discussions about philosophy and metaphysics. It shows the struggle of free love and human impulse against the fetters of conventional laws, in all the heathen paraphernalia of gods, giants, dwarfs, water- maidens, and Valkyries. To enjoy these dramas, only an understanding of the text is necessary. This is a comforting thought for the average opera-goer who has been led to believe that only when he has analysed the Wagner score to its last bar can he fully enjoy the music." There are four "cycles," or dramatic operas in the Ring: The Rhine Gold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and The Twilight of the Gods. They are based loosely on stories in the Nibelungenlied, an epic poem in Middle High German drawn from ancient Germanic heroic motifs. This pocketbook provides a concise overview of the plot, scenes, major characters and storyline of this, the greatest of all operas.
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