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LA supervisors support Wagner concert, despite objections


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Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday voted three-to-one to support the L.A. Opera’s planned production of Richard Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle next year. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more.

Frank Stoltze: The vote followed testimony from a handful of Jews who said that it’s wrong to put on a festival that celebrates Richard Wagner, an anti-Semite.

Peter Gimpel: You are validating what this despicable individual stood for and giving permission to the masses to emulate him. You are waving a banner that says "welcome Nazis, welcome white supremacists."

Stoltze: Supervisor Mike Antonavich had taken up the cause of Peter Gimpel and others who said the opera’s Wagner event should include pieces by other composers. Festival organizer Barry Sanders:

Barry Sanders: We do have a plethora of seminars, symposia on the philosophy and despicable personality and bigotry of this man who at the same time created great art – fascinating subject to discuss.

Stoltze: Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is Jewish, agreed with Sanders. He wrote the successful resolution in support of next season’s operas, which are expected to draw fans from around the world.