Obituary: Long-time Bayreuth director Wolfgang Wagner, 90

Posted on: March 22, 2010

Monday (3/22) on, Shirley Apthrop and Catherine Hickley report, “Wolfgang Wagner, grandson of Richard Wagner and director of the composer’s opera festival in Bayreuth for 57 years, died yesterday at the age of 90. Battling ill health, Wagner stepped down two years ago as director of the 134-year-old festival. A seven-year-long family feud about his succession was resolved in September 2008, when the Bayreuth Festival named Wolfgang’s daughters Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier to lead the annual event. … The Bayreuth Festival takes place every summer in the theater founded by Richard Wagner in 1876. Wolfgang Wagner had a lifelong contract to run the festival and had refused to budge from his post unless his youngest daughter Katharina was named his successor. That led to years of fighting with other Wagners who felt they had a claim, especially Eva Wagner-Pasquier, Wolfgang’s daughter by a previous marriage, and Nike Wagner, his niece.”

Posted March 22, 2010