Music: Warm Days for Wagner Knights

Peter Hall and Georg Solti combine on a controversial Ring

All Europe has been sweltering this summer as temperatures have soared into the 90s. But the hottest spot on the Continent last week had to be the small West German city of Bayreuth, site of the annual Richard Wagner opera festival. Inside a broiling, stifling Festspielhaus, an elegant first-night crowd shed its tuxedo jackets along with its customary solemn decorum as it watched, with growing disappointment, impatience and finally anger, a new production of Wagner's 16-hour, four-evening German myth, Der Ring des Nibelungen, by...

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