From an email conversation about Wagner's The Ring:
My text starts with ">" / My friend's response is in italics.
> Not sure if you saw my blog yesterday but I picked up "the best of Wagner's the Ring"
That'll be quite short then :-)
> I got it for 50p in a charity shop
You were done .... :-)
> I am determined to give it a listen.
> First impressions are that I do not have a clue whats going on and figure that German being sung is the closest I can get to the language of Mordor. I will give it a go for you, bro, as I know it is something you dig but... its hard!
I once heard Wagners music described as having some lovely moments but awful quarters of an hour. I must admint that I only got as far as Das Rinegold before giving up.
Interestingly, Wagner's Ring is based on the same source materal as The Lord Of The Rings but Wagner takes it in the direction of Norse gods and it is closer to what we'd recognise as mythology than story telling. There is stuff like a mortal falling in love with an imortal, though unlike Aragon and Arwyn, it doesn't end well. There are also arguments as to whether Wagner lets his racism and anti-semitism show.
I recommned listening in small doses. :-) Then get some Gilbert and Sullivan (the pirates of penzance is best).
I have to say that I can't get over the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Elmer Fudd sings "Kill da waa-bit... Kill da waa-bit". Wagner killed by Elmer Fudd!!!