May 27th, 2024

Katharina Wagner will lead the Bayreuth Festival for 5 more years

By The Associated Press on May 14, 2024.

FILE - Katharina Wagner, artistic director of the Bayreuth Wagner festival, answers questions during a press conference in Munich, southern Germany, on Wednesday, July, 22, 2009. The Bayreuth Festival announced on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, that the organization is retaining Katharina Wagner as the director of the festival celebrating her great-grandfather's works for another five years. (AP Photo/Uwe Lein, File)

BERLIN (AP) – The Bayreuth Festival in Germany announced on Tuesday that it is retaining Katharina Wagner as its director for another five years.

Wagner, who turns 46 on May 21 and is a great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, became co-head of the festival in September 2008, along with her half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier. Katharina then took over as sole head in 2015.

The festival announced an agreement with government officials in which a manager will be hired to run business operations, leaving the festival director to make artistic decisions within the budget set by the shareholders.

The German and Bavarian governments, and the Society of Friends of Bayreuth each have a 29% share in the festival, and the city of Bayreuth a 13% share.

“I am very pleased that together we have found a way to strengthen artistic autonomy,” Wagner said in a statement. “My entire focus can now be purely on my creative work.”

Launched by Richard Wagner in 1876 at an opera house built to his specifications, the Bayreuth festival is devoted to the composer’s last 10 operas. This year’s festival runs from July 25 to Aug. 27.

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