Opera companies must plot seasons out years in advance. So when Los Angeles Opera puts up its new production of Richard Wagner's 4-part Ring cycle next spring, and the two-month long, region-wide cultural festival associated with it called Ring Festival L.A., you know the plans have been in the works for quite some time.
But some in LA want a change of plan. Last week, an LA county supervisor called for LA Opera to "delete the focus on Wagner and incorporate other composers."
Read more about the controversy here.
Read a response from the music critic of the LA Times here.
An update on this story: a motion asking the opera company to shift the focus of the festival away from Wagner was voted down by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Read more about it, and the motion they did support, here.
The controversy in Los Angelos poses a serious question: how can the artistic achievements of Wagner be extolled without extolling the man? His thoughts and writings are so incorporated into his music as to be effectively inseparable.