On the operatic scale established by Wagner such detail is simply lost.
Every critic could recognize the structural merits of the earlier plays, for their operatic conventionalities and abruptness of motive are always intelligible as stage devices.
Jealousy might prompt a doubt whether these plays were within the scope of " legitimate " music; but they were obviously stories of exceptional musical and romantic beauty, presented with literary resources unprecedented in operatic libretti.
Be this as it may, we may confidently date the purification of Wagner's music at the moment when he set to work on a story which carried him finally away from that world of stereotyped operatic passions into which he had already breathed so much disturbing life.
The conflict between her passionate fascination and her disgust at her father's vulgarity is finely realized both in music and drama; but, if we are able to appreciate it, then the operatic convention by which Senta avows her passion becomes crude.
Ethical and operatic points of view are similarly confused when it is asserted that the Flying Dutchman can be saved by a faithful woman, though it appears from the relations between Senta and Erik that so long as the woman is faithful to the Dutchman it does not matter that she jilts some one else.
Erik would not have been a sufficiently pathetic operatic tenor if his claim on Senta had been less complete.
Telramund, again, is no ordinary operatic villain; there is genuine tragedy in his moral ruin; and even the melodramatic Ortrud is a much more life-like intrigante than might be inferred from Wagner's hyperbolical stage-directions, which almost always show his manner at its worst.
Its Stadt-Theater, rebuilt in 1874, has room for 1750 spectators and is particularly devoted to operatic performances; the Thalia-Theater dates from 1841, and holds 1700 to "Soo people, and the Schauspielhaus (for drama) from 1900 people, and there are some seven or eight minor establishments.
The series of concerts given annually in the Gewandhaus is also of world-wide reputation, and the operatic stage of Leipzig is deservedly ranked among the finest in Germany.
Of its three theatres, the municipal theatre (Stadttheater) is famed for its operatic productions.