As you must know, May 22 is Richard Wagner's 200th birthday, and, as you must have guessed, Midweek Madness couldn't let that milestone go unturned. In fact, it will take at least three posts to do justice to this musical genius (and repugnant human specimen).
Part 1 just had to be delivered by Bugs and Elmer -- predictable, yes, but still essential.
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ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Tim Smith is the fine arts critic for The Baltimore Sun, covering classical music, theater and visual arts. Before starting at The Sun in 2000, Smith was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where he also contributed to NPR. He's written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and he's a longtime contributor to Opera News. His book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.