Wagner is probably the most 'off-putting' composer in all of music*, if not for the fact his operas are incredibly long**, then certainly because of his obvious anti-semitism and supposed influence on Nazism.
* if you can think of better candidate please start a new topic :-)
** "Parsifal is the kind of opera that starts at six o'clock. After it has been going for three hours, you look at your watch and it says 6.20." - David Randolph
So, if you've ever felt guiltily interested in Wagner, an article by Simon Heffer in The Telegraph on Saturday may help you overcome your reluctance to explore further...
"Don't be afraid of Wagner. He's not a Nazi
"The idea that Nazism can be traced back to a moment in 1905 when Hitler, aged 16, had some sort of epiphany after seeing 'Rienzi' in Linz is simply potty, says Simon Heffer"
"Louder! Louder! I can still hear the singers!"
- Richard Strauss to the orchestra, at a rehearsal.