Wagner's health deteriorates and he suffers from various illnesses. Mathilde Wesendonck, the wife of wealthy silk merchant Otto Wesendonck, becomes yet another one of his patrons and offers him the cottage on her estate as his residence. Once installed in the cottage, Wagner begins a passionate correspondence with Mathilde, which upsets both Mathilde's husband, Otto, and Wagner's wife, Minna, who seeks solace in increasing amounts of laudanum. Wagner, who starts composing 'Tristan und Isolde' for Mathilde, is also visited by his good friend Hans von Bülow, and his new bride Cosima, Liszt's daughter. After a while, Minna works up the courage to confront Wagner and Mathilde about their correspondence.
Did You Know?
The dragon's head showed in the film for the opera's opening of "The Ring" was incorrectly labeled (Beirut). It was shipped in those times from the maker by train to the theater location Wagner has built for his opera. It is a city in Upper Franconia, Bavaria. "Bayreuth," pronounced by-royt. As in the film, it plays host to a Wagner festival every opera season. See more