Wagner (1981– )

TV Series  |   |  Biography, Drama, History
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A huge panorama of Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 Revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria to the final triumph at ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Richard Wagner (10 episodes, 1981-1983)
 Cosima von Bulow (9 episodes, 1981-1983)
László Gálffi ...
 King Ludwig II of Bavaria / ... (9 episodes, 1981-1983)
 Pfistermeister (9 episodes, 1981-1983)
Miguel Herz-Kestranek ...
 Hans von Bülow (8 episodes, 1981-1983)
Gyula Benkö ...
 Narrator (8 episodes, 1981-1983)
Gemma Craven ...
 Minna / ... (7 episodes, 1981-1983)
 Pfordten (6 episodes, 1983)
Richard Pasco ...
 Otto Wesendonck (5 episodes, 1981-1983)
 Pfeuffer (5 episodes, 1983)
 Nietzsche / ... (5 episodes, 1983)
Andrew Cruickshank ...
 Narrator / ... (5 episodes, 1981-1983)


A huge panorama of Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 Revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria to the final triumph at Bayreuth. Wagner's radical musical and political ideas, his German nationalism and even his anti-Semitism are set in the context of his life and times. Written by Adrian Thorpe <acthorpe@epic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




| |


Release Date:

December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wagner - Das Leben und Werk Richard Wagners  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the filming the '3 Knights' would dine together, and each would try to 'outdo' the others in serving opulent meals. See more »


When Wagner speaks at the political meeting, the vertical German flags in the background have the wrong sequence of black-gold-red, while the ones draping the podium are the correct black-red-gold ones. (The flags are the 1832 Hambach Festival flag - the modern German flag dating from 1848 was developed from the Hambach colours) See more »

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User Reviews

2 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw Wagner as I am a big classical music and opera fan and I love Richard Wagner's music, especially Wotan's Farewell from Die Walkure, Overture to Tannhauser and Prelude to Act 1 and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde.

Wagner is just magnificent, and one of my favourite series or anything to do with composers. For one thing, I found the story presented well structured and interesting, although I knew a good deal about Wagner beforehand, there was stuff here that I didn't know and found it presented in an insightful way.

Wagner is also very authentic in its look and the atmosphere it creates. Watching it I actually felt I was there, and the period recreation, costumes, settings and photography are not only gorgeous but very vivid too.

The music is outstanding, and this is really a brilliantly written programme, thoughtful, brooding and also quite moving. The acting is across the board faultless with Richard Burton embodying the title role to magnificent effect and Vanessa Redgrave very effective. There are also great performances from Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Gemma Craven, Ronald Pickup, Ralph Richardson, Marthe Keller and Vernon Dobtchof.

And Andrew Cruishank's narration is the ideal icing on the cake. Overall, Wagner is simply magnificent. Massive? Yes. Worth watching? Absolutely yes. 10/10 Bethany Cox

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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