OPERA...there isn't often anything in Wagner opera that one would call by such a violent name as acting; as a rule all you would see would be a couple of ...people, one of them standing, the other catching flies. Of course I do not really mean that he would be catching flies; I only mean that the usual operatic gestures which consist in reaching first one hand out into the air then the other might suggest the sport I speak of it the operator attended strictly to business...
- "The Shrine of St. Wagner"
Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
- Mark Twain's Autobiography (re-quoting humorist Edgar Wilson "Bill" Nye)