There are many books about every aspect of Wagner's life and works, but none has focused on the trivia, the interesting facts, anecdotes, and quotations about the man and his operas.
For more than twenty years, Terry Quinn has collected information on each of Wagner's 13 completed operas and the difficulties encountered in staging them; famous Wagnerian directors, conductors, and singers; key persons in the composer's life, especially the women, not to mention the dysfunctional Wagner family; Wagner's visits to London; the festival and theater he created in Bavaria; and a great deal more.
Also included are interviews with current Wagnerian scholars. Richard Wagner: The Lighter Side contains more than 300 tidbits and features, ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages.
The light side of the book is immediately apparent via its lively headings, as well as its fascinating tales of the fanatical enthusiasts who travel the world to see Wagner's operas performed. Illustrations include photographs, dozens of contemporary caricatures, beautiful postage stamps on Wagnerian subjects, and other reproductions of ephemera.