The L.A. Times Culture Monster blog reports today that LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich wants to omit Wagner from the city's upcoming Ring Festival because of the composer's association with the Nazis. While Wagner's anti-Semitism is a well-known, tired (and tiring) fact, the festival is celebrating his music, not his beliefs. And it is, ahem, a Ring Festival- not a Wagner Festival. It's time to move on from this sort of squeamishness.
Rather than go forward with the city-wide Ring Festival, already in the works for years, he wants LA Opera to “Delete the focus on Wagner and incorporate other composers as headliners including Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Schubert, Schumann, Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn and others.”
That's not a festival, Ring or otherwise- it's LA Opera's regular season programming.
Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn? I'm just curious which operas by these composers Antonovich would like to see staged. I'd have to check my Kobbe's for reference to name even one by Schubert and I'm not aware of any written by the other two.
The brilliant mind behind this carefully thought out idea belongs to a Republican married to a woman 26 years his junior (more weird family values from the Party that wants to tell everyone else how to behave?), who has been in office since 1980. It's time to retire him. Or maybe not- with leaders like this, the Republican party won't be making a comeback anytime soon.