Music: Playing with Toys at Bayreuth

"I feel like Orson Welles when he first came to Hollywood and cried, 'This is the most beautiful toy in the world.' " So said French Theater Director Patrice Chéreau, 31, as he contemplated the prospect of staging the centennial celebration of the Bayreuth Festival with a new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wagner's longest, densest and most puzzling creation. The results were on display last week at the somber brick Festspielhaus, which Wagner himself designed, and they brought on a storm of booing deep and raw. A few people both booed and...

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