There’s history in the making at this year’s Wagner-Fest at Bayreuth. First, and utterly triumphantly, there’s a woman, Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv, leading in the pit, perhaps even perching on the stool once graced by the backside of the Master himself. Then there are two other important Bayreuth debuts: Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose fascinating if convoluted new staging of Der Fliegende Holländer opened the Festival, and Armenian-Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian whose angsty teenage Senta is jaw-droppingly good. And finally, for those who can’t travel, for the second year running Deutsche Grammophon has paired with Bayreuth to present an online festival – including the chance to watch that opening production – more of which anon.

Der Fliegende Holländer. Credit Enrico Nawrath:Bayreuther Festspiele

Der Fliegende Holländer. Photo © Enrico Nawrath/Bayreuther Festspiele

For in-person attendees, it’s something of a half-Festival this year, though an improvement on last year when there was no Festival at all. Capacity has been reduced to accommodate a socially distanced 900, the toilets inside have been replaced by portaloos in the grounds, and only half of the chorus is allowed to sing onstage at any given moment. For those...