Katharina Wagner (born 21 May 1978 in Bayreuth) is a German opera stage-director and co-director of the Bayreuth Festival. She is the daughter of Wolfgang Wagner, great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner and great-great granddaughter of Hungarian composer Ferenc (Franz) Liszt.
Her directorial début at the Bayreuth Festival, staging a production of Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in July 2007, was booed at its premiere, but established a following which returned to watch the production evolve as Wagner made changes in each of the five years it was on view. Wagner also took a bow after every performance, with audiences split between bravos and boos.
On 1 September 2008 Katharina was named together with her half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier as the new director of the Bayreuth Festival by the Richard Wagner Foundation, succeeding their father Wolfgang. This followed an extended family dispute. They were chosen in preference to their cousin Nike Wagner and the Belgian opera director and administrator Gérard Mortier, who had placed a late joint bid for the directorship on 24 August.
In October 2010 she sought to end a post-1945 boycott of Wagner's music in Israel by inviting the Israel Chamber Orchestra to play a concert in July 2011 at the Bayreuth town hall. Her visit to Israel was canceled after hostility from Holocaust survivors.
Der fliegende Holländer (Würzburg)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Bayreuth)
- Carr, Jonathan: The Wagner Clan: The Saga of Germany's Most Illustrious and Infamous Family. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007. ISBN 0-87113-975-8
- Connolly, Kate (2007-07-27). "Ms Wagner jeered as great-grandad's opera flops at Bayreuth". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- BBC News (2008-09-01). Daughters chosen to run Bayreuth. BBC News. Retrieved on 2008-09-01 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7592659.stm.
- Hickley, Catherine (2008-09-01). "Wagner Sisters Katharina, Eva Named to Lead Bayreuth (Update2)". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
- McGroarty, Patrick; Ron Blum (2008-09-01). "Bayreuth names Wagner half-sisters as co-directors". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-01.