Wagner must be freed from Nazi 'weight': conductor
Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim on Friday said that the legacy of German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) should be liberated from the "weight" of an association with Nazism.
"This association with Nazism conditions the way in which many people see Wagner today," Barenboim told reporters ahead of the premiere of Wagner's "The Valkyrie" at La Scala opera theatre in Milan on Tuesday.
"One day we should free Wagner from this weight," Barenboim said, adding that "if Wagner had been a political man he would not have been right wing."
Israel still has an unwritten ban against playing the anti-Semitic German composer's music, which was later used as part of Nazi propaganda.
An Israeli lawyer, Jonathan Livni, last month launched a bid to end the taboo, setting up an organisation to promote broader acceptance of Wagner.
"The Valkyrie", the second opera in Wagner's famous Ring cycle, will open La Scala's 2010/2011 season.
© 2010 AFP