By George Loomis [NY Times, 7 July 2009]
ERL, AUSTRIA — It is said that the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals have long had an understanding that Salzburg will not do Wagner and Bayreuth will do nothing but. Yet with applicants having to wait seven years for tickets, Bayreuth hardly needs protection from competition. In fact, the annual Munich Opera Festival has always had a major Wagner component. But since 1998, another, less orthodox enterprise has also toiled on behalf of the master of the music drama, and in roughly the same neck of the Austro-Bavarian woods.