During the fin de siècle the Brussels opera house (De Munt/La Monnaie) emerged as an international centre of Symbolist culture because of its central role in the acceptance in both Belgium and France of the operas of the German composer Richard Wagner. The Wagnerian phenomenon and the aesthetic of the Gesamtkunstwerk became a veritable craze in Brussels and helped to create the basis for genuinely Symbolist opera. In both cases there was intense cooperation between composers, musicians, theatre people, literary figures, and visual artists such as Fernand Khnopff in the cultural milieu around director Maurice Kufferath’s progressive-minded opera house. The Germanic sagas and myths about impending doom, femmes fatales, and heroism provided the central themes of these new works.