MUSIC: The Perfect Wagnerite

Last week, the Bayreuth Festival, established in 1876 by composer/writer Richard Wagner as a way to get his gargantuan operas performed exactly the way he wanted them, finally resolved a dispute over which of Wagner’s descendants would take over running the Festival. To briefly sum up, when the Festival re-opened after the war, it was run by Wagner’s grandsons, Wieland and Wolfgang. Wieland died in 1966, but Wolfgang ran the Festival until this year, when he stepped down. Two different sets of Wagners vied for control, with two Wagner great-granddaughters finally getting the nod.