Katharina Wagner

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Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier.

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 Franz Liszt.

Wagner has staged Der fliegende Holländer in Würzburg and Lohengrin in Budapest. 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,[1] 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 bravas and boos.

On 1 September 2008, Katharina Wagner 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.[2] This followed an extended family dispute.[3] They were chosen in preference to their cousin Nike Wagner and the Belgian opera director and administrator Gerard Mortier, who had placed a late joint bid for the directorship on 24 August.[4][5]

In October 2010, Wagner planned to visit Israel in order to invite the Israel Chamber Orchestra to play a concert in July 2011 at the Bayreuth town hall, to end a post-1945 boycott of Wagner's music in Israel. Her visit was canceled after hostility from Holocaust survivors.[6]


Der fliegende Holländer (Würzburg)
Lohengrin (Budapest)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Bayreuth)
Rienzi (Bremen)
Tristan und Isolde (Bayreuth)

Further reading[edit]

  • Carr, Jonathan: The Wagner Clan: The Saga of Germany's Most Illustrious and Infamous Family. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007. ISBN 0-87113-975-8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Connolly, Kate (27 July 2007). "Ms Wagner jeered as great-grandad's opera flops at Bayreuth". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Kate Connolly (21 June 2009). "Wagner's heir vows to lay bare her family's Nazi history". The Observer. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  4. ^ Hickley, Catherine (1 September 2008). "Wagner Sisters Katharina, Eva Named to Lead Bayreuth (Update2)". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  5. ^ McGroarty, Patrick; Ron Blum (1 September 2008). "Bayreuth names Wagner half-sisters as co-directors". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  6. ^ Noam Ben-Zeev (7 October 2010). "Bad people can still write really good music". Haaretz. Retrieved 7 October 2010.