Anniversaries are strange creatures; more often than not, they now seem to make us moan. (Did anyone not become sick and tired of the dual Mahler anniversary years 2010-11? Most notably, anyone who actually had a real interest in Mahler?) Until relatively recently, my unconsidered response to this year’s Wagner bicentenary was – well, not much of a response at all. Indifference, not total, but relative, reigned. Yes, it has had me thinking about certain things, often more about 1813 than 2013, and it certainly has had me working on certain things, from a visit to the splendid Wagner World Wide conference in South Carolina onwards. Yet to a certain extent every year is a Wagner year, and not just for me. London does not do especially well for Wagner performances, though at the same time they are far from non-existent. (The responses or lack thereof, by the two main opera companies here have, however, been baffling: a single production, yet to come, from the Royal Opera, and nothing whatsoever from ENO.) More to the point, however, not only the arts but so many of the ways in which we might and perhaps should consider our lives remain very much in Wagner’s shadow.