Richard Wagner is remembered as one of the most influential figures in music and theatre, but his place in history has been marked by a considerable amount of controversy. His attitudes towards the Jews and the appropriation of his operas by the Nazis, for example, have helped to construct a historical persona that sits uncomfortably with modern sensibilities. Yet Wagner's absolutely central position in the operatic canon continues. This volume serves as a timely reminder of his ongoing musical, cultural, and political impact. Contributions by specialists from such varied fields as musical history, German literature and cultural studies, opera production, and political science consider a range of topics, from trends and problems in the history of stage production to the representations of gender and sexuality. With the inclusion of invaluable and reliably up-to-date biographical data, this collection will be of great interest to scholars, students, and enthusiasts.