21 December: The glamour of Wagner

Every day throughout Advent, the season of overindulgence, we’ll be telling a tale of an overindulgent composer


Composer: Wagner


How indulgent: Selfishly indulgent

How: Both Wagner and Berlioz were known opium users. Besides a drug addiction, Wagner often wrote in favour of vegetarianism. However, unlike Percy Grainger, he struggled to stick to his diet plans. His wife Cosima Wagner declared that, ‘in practice… neither his health nor the orders of his physician allowed him to be a vegetarian.’

Did you know: Wagner was indulgent beyond just his taste for good food and opium. He enjoyed wearing expensive clothing, writing a request to one couturier for a dressing gown with ‘richness of…material, width, ruches, flounces, bustles, ribbons – all to the good.’ He even wore silk underwear!

Now indulge yourself with…..  Ride of the Valkyries


This rousing work will no doubt grow your confidence. Just what you need when faced with endless present-wrapping, card-writing and fifty uneaten mince pies.