Music: Lively Nights at Bayreuth

A strong brooding Parsifal highlights the Wagner festival

During the intermissions of Parsifal, a young woman with a small monkey perched on her left shoulder paraded among the patrons in dinner jackets and evening gowns, eliciting some sidelong glances but not much else. Throughout a performance of Lohengrin, two women in the audience held hands and caressed one another while onstage the pure knight sang of his love for the chaste Elsa. At the climax of Tristan und Isolde, one bejeweled lady was so overcome by the intoxicating music that she pitched backward into...

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