With Richard Wagner, opera reached the apex of German Romanticism. Originally published in 1851, when Wagner was in political exile, Opera and Drama outlines a new, revolutionary type of musical stage work, which would finally materialize as The Ring of the Nibelung. Wagner's music drama, as he called it, aimed at a union of poetry, drama, music, and stagecraft. In a rare book-length study, the composer discusses the enhancement of dramas by operatic treatment and the subjects that make the best dramas. The expected Wagnerian voltage is here: in his thinking about myths such as Oedipus, his theories about operatic goals and musical possibilities, his contempt for musical politics, his exaltation of feeling and fantasy, his reflections about genius, and his recasting of Schopenhauer. This edition includes the full text of volume 2 of William Ashton Ellis's 1893 translation commissioned by the London Wagner Society.