The Bayreuth Festival has decided, at an emergency board meeting, not to send its artistic director, Katharina Wagner, to Israel after adverse reactions to her plan to engage the Israel Chamber Orchestra for next summer’s festival.
It seems odd she should have backed down after a few predictable howls from Holocaust survivors. What did she expect, rose petals?.
The whole plan was misjudged and miserably mishandled. There must be a reconciliation between Israel and Bayreuth some day, but this was not the way to go about it, through a network of backroom contacts (Katie is chummy with the ICO’s new conductor, Roberto Paternostro).
By pulling out at the first hint of resistance, Katharina looks both indecisive and weak. Not a good augury for Bayreuth.
Here’s the Haaretz version.