Ivan Hewitt writes: It’s apt that Wagner and Verdi were born in the same year. They are romantic opera’s two great antipodes, united in stature, but divided in almost everything else. They embody two completely different outlooks on life and art, which are rooted in the cultures of their respective nations. That’s why every German city has a Wagnerstrasse, and every Italian one a Corso Giuseppe Verdi.
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Neil McCauley / editor in chief