The New Student's Reference Work/Tannhäuser and the Singers' Contest at the Wartburg

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Tannhäuser and the Singers' Contest at the Wartburg is the title of a music drama by Richard Wagner, who wrote both words and music. First performed at Dresden, Oct. 20, 1845. The conception of the opera occurred during a visit of Wagner to the castle of Wartburg, in the Thuringian Valley, in the spring of 1842. The castle was the traditional scene of the contests between the minnesinger and the knightly poets, whom the landgraves of the 13th century assembled for tournaments of song. Schumann mentions the opera as one “which cannot be spoken of briefly,” adding that “it certainly has an appearance of genius.”