Early in the summer, the Bavarian State Opera staged an open-air fight between the two musical bi-centenarians. It had the makings of a good bout until the Germans, in typical 21st century fashion (Syria? We’re on both sides), declared the result a draw.
That’s an outrageous fudge, and neither composer would have accepted it. On Sunday, at the Royal Opera House, the writer Philip Hensher and I will fight the issue to the death, with a live orchestra, two singers and Stephen Fry in the chair. You can follow us on social media, and watch the live stream on the Guardian and the Intelligence Squared sites. It’s Verdi vs Wagner, with no room for neutrals.
As a taster, I’ve written a little column for the JC today about one area where Verdi wins hands down – plain humanity. Click here to read it.