Agence France-Presse

Danish director Lars von Trier has given up plans to mount a new production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle at the Bayreuth festival in 2006 after spending more than two years on the project, the festival's organisers have announced.
Lars von Trier (photo: The darling of Danish cinema, who won the Palme d'Or at Cannes with his musical comedy [sic] Dancer in the Dark in 2000, has confessed to having found himself unequal to the task of tackling opera.
His decision stunned festival organisers, who described it as "very serious from an artistic point of view and with regard to the timing. But we understand and respect it, and relations between the film director and the director of the festival, Wolfgang Wagner, remain unchanged," a communique from the Bayreuther Festspiele said, adding "It is with a certain sadness that the two sides have gone their separate ways."
The festival organisers appreciated that in throwing in the towel at this stage, the Danish director had given them time to find a replacement.
Lars von Trier came to Bayreuth for the opera season in 2001 and 2002 after being approached by the festival to create his own production of the Ring in collaboration with the German conductor Christian Thielemann.

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