We go off the beaten track to meet a Wagner fan in rural Germany who learned to love the work of the great composer after it was performed repeatedly in his area. He even found romance there himself.
Next year, superstar Anna Netrebko will sing in Bayreuth. But as the current season begins, visitors are looking forward to a new production of Wagner's "Lohengrin" — including a stage set designed by Neo Rauch.
Richard Wagner's Festspielhaus theater is freshly restored, but the myth and mystique of his festival seems tarnished as it wraps up the season. Little seems to excite the public other than rumors in the pipeline.
The world's most prestigious opera festival starts on July 25, with the present-day Wagner family notably quiet but fresh insights into Richard Wagner's problematic stance towards Jews expected both on and offstage.
Descriptions of pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim tend toward the superlative. The celebrated maestro is also a public relations mastermind who puts music in the service of a higher goal.
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