In Israel today, the informal ban on playing Wagner’s music at live performances still stands, although occasional exposure on radio and TV has become acceptable. The interrupted performance by Zubin Mehta of a Wagner work in 1981, as well as Daniel Barenboim’s ill-fated attempt with a German orchestra in 2001, are two examples of what is still a general antipathy.
It would seem, however, that with Israel’s diminishing numbers of Holocaust survivors and with subsequent generations whose connections to the Holocaust are not as direct, issues of this nature are no longer of primary concern. The youth in Israel have other pressing matters to occupy their attention. My new play, You Will Not Play Wagner, reflects the debate within a microcosm – a debate between two characters with opposing viewpoints who focus on the fact that not only does this dilemma still survive, it can still arouse passions whenever it comes to the fore.
Annie Byron and Benedict Wall in You Will Not Play Wagner
It’s obviously an anomaly that exists in Israel alone. Barenboim’s choice of orchestra could only rub...