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[humanities.music.composers.wagner] Wagner General FAQ
Section - I. Who are the Wagner family and how are they related to each

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The following members of the Wagner family often are mentioned in the 
newsgroup:

 i. Wolfgang Wagner (b. 1919) is the present head of the family and chief 
 administrator of the Bayreuth Festival.  Wolfgang and his brother Wieland 
 were the prime movers in the revival of the Festival after WW2 and in the 
 development of the "New Bayreuth" style of production that was first 
 presented at the 1951 Festival.  The English edition of his autobiography
 'Acts' appeared in 1994.

 ii. Wieland Wagner (1917-1966) has been widely regarded as one of the most
 gifted directors in the history of the theatre.  Inspired by the theories
 of Adolphe Appia, Wieland designed and produced minimalist stagings of
 his grandfather's works in Bayreuth and elsewhere.  These productions 
 emphasised the epic and universal in the Wagner dramas and explored the 
 texts from a viewpoint of  depth psychology.  See Penelope Turing's book 
 'New Bayreuth' (1969) and Geoffrey Skelton's book 'Wieland Wagner: The 
 Positive Sceptic' (1971).

 iii. Friedelind Wagner (1918-1991) is often considered to have been the 
 white sheep of the family.  In 1941 she escaped from Nazi Bayreuth to
 exile in Switzerland and, after receiving death threats from her mother, 
 with the help of Toscanini emigrated first to Britain and then to the
 USA.  There she provided first-hand information about Hitler to the
 security services and participated in anti-Nazi propaganda broadcasts.
 See her book, written with Page Cooper, 'Heritage of Fire' (1948).

 iv. Nike Wagner (b. 1945) is a daughter of Wieland Wagner and Gertrud
 Reissiger.  Nike has been openly critical of Wolfgang Wagner and of the
 current administration of the Bayreuth Festival.  Her latest book has
 appeared in English translation as 'The Wagners: The Dramas of a Musical 
 Dynasty' (2001).

 v. Eva Wagner-Pasquier (b. 1945) is the daughter of Wolfgang Wagner and
 his first wife Ellen Drexel.  Eva was named to succeed her father as chief 
 administrator of the Bayreuth Festival by its Board of Trustees.

 vi. Gottfried Wagner (b. 1947) is the estranged son of Wolfgang Wagner and
 Ellen Drexel.  Over recent years Gottfried has moved from a position in
 which he criticised Richard Wagner's life and works, the achievements of
 his own family and the Bayreuth Festival as it exists, to a position of
 active hostility.  His autobiography has appeared under various titles 
 including 'He who does not howl with the wolf' (1998).  Adolf Hitler was 
 known to the young Wolfgang Wagner as "Uncle Wolf".

 vii. Katharina Wagner (b. 1978) is the daughter of Wolfgang and Gudrun 
 Wagner.  She made her debut as opera producer in September 2002 with 'Der 
 fliegende Holländer' at Mainfrankentheater in Würzburg.  Recently her
 production of 'Lohengrin' in Budapest (2004) was received with vigorous 
 booing from an unsympathetic audience, as was her disastrous attempt at
 a staging of 'Il Trittico' in Berlin (2006). There have been rumours that
 Katharina is a close friend of Christoph "dead rabbit" Schlingensief.

There is a fairly complete family tree showing the descendants of Richard
and Cosima Wagner on the Web < http://www.monsalvat.no/wagtree.gif >
(produced by Joseph Erbacher). 


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