Bayreuth is the epicentre of Wagner worship

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Bayreuth is the epicentre of Wagner worship, a heaven for opera lovers and the scene for a battle over who is to control the legacy of the controversial German composer.

With an 87-year-old desperately clinging on to power, a horde of ambitious Valkyries waiting for him to give up his claim to authority, and a tumultuous battle for succession, Bayreuth has it all.

The annual festival of Richard Wagner's music has been run by his grandson Wolfgang for 56 years. It's curtain up next Wednesday on what could be Wolfgang's last festival and it's proving the hottest ticket in the operatic world.

Even if the next generation of Wagners are positioning themselves to take over from Wolfgang - the Wagners have always kept it in the family, since Bayreuth opened in 1876 - the old man isn't gone yet.

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