So why did Lars von Trier really pull out of directing the 2006 Bayreuth Ring cycle?
According to Christian Thielemann, interviewed in Corriere della Sera, there were - contrary to rumour - no director/conductor clashes. Von Trier's problem was purely physical he says; the required three months of hard graft was more than his health could cope with.
Indeed the Wagnerphile director may yet debut on the Green Hill. A "less demanding work" is right now under consideration by Thielemann and Katharina Wagner.