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Katharina Wagner (born 21 May 1978 in Bayreuth) is a German opera stage director and is the director of the Bayreuth Festival. She is the daughter of Wolfgang Wagner and Gudrun Wagner (née Armann), 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,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.This followed an extended family dispute. 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.
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.
In 2014 it was announced that Eva would be stepping down from the co-directorship leaving, in accord with her father's will,Katharina in sole charge.
In April 2020 it was announced that Katharina would have to step down from her position as director of the festival until further notice because of an unspecified long-term illness. The 81-year-old, former commercial managing director, Heinz-Dieter Sense, acted as a temporary representative for Wagner in the following months.This was the first time since Heinz Tietjen in the 1930s that a non-family member had been in charge of the festival. Katharina returned to work in September 2020.
The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. Wagner himself conceived and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.
Anja Silja Regina Langwagen is a German soprano.
Wolfgang Wagner was a German opera director. He is best known as the director (Festspielleiter) of the Bayreuth Festival, a position he initially assumed alongside his brother Wieland in 1951 until the latter's death in 1966. From then on, he assumed total control until he retired in 2008, although many of the productions which he commissioned were severely criticized in their day. He had been plagued by family conflicts and criticism for many years. He was the son of Siegfried Wagner, who was the son of Richard Wagner, and the great-grandson of Franz Liszt.
Cheryl Studer is an American dramatic soprano who has sung at many of the world's foremost opera houses. Studer has performed more than eighty roles ranging from the dramatic repertoire to roles more commonly associated with lyric sopranos and coloratura sopranos, and, in her late stage, mezzo-sopranos. She is particularly known for her interpretations of the works of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner.
Dame Gwyneth Jones is a Welsh dramatic soprano, widely regarded as one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos in the second half of the 20th century.
Harry Alfred Robert Kupfer was a German opera director and academic. A long-time director at the Komische Oper Berlin, he worked at major opera houses and at festivals internationally. Trained by Walter Felsenstein, he worked in the tradition of realistic directing. At the Bayreuth Festival, he staged Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer in 1978 and Der Ring des Nibelungen in 1988. At the Salzburg Festival, he directed the premiere of Penderecki's Die schwarze Maske in 1986 and Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss in 2014.
Bernd Weikl is an Austrian operatic baritone, particularly known for his performances in the stage works by Richard Wagner. He also has written books and directed operas.
The Bayreuth canon consists of those operas by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813–1883) that have been performed at the Bayreuth Festival. The festival, which is dedicated to the staging of these works, was founded by Wagner in 1876 in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth, and has continued under the directorship of his family since his death. Although it was not originally held annually, it has taken place in July and August every year since the 75th anniversary season in 1951. Its venue is the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which was built for the first festival. Attendance at the festival is often thought of as a pilgrimage made by Wagner aficionados.
Robert Dean Smith is an American operatic tenor.
Eva Johansson is a Danish operatic soprano.
Sebastian Weigle is a German conductor and horn player. He is currently Generalmusikdirektor of the Oper Frankfurt and principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Jean Cox was an American tenor.
Hannelore Bode is a German operatic soprano. She performed at the Bayreuth Festival from 1968 to 1978, including Elsa in Lohengrin, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and several parts in the 1976 Jahrhundertring, including Sieglinde in Die Walküre. She performed internationally and recorded operas with conductors such as Eugen Jochum, Silvio Varviso and Pierre Boulez.
Albert Dohmen is a German operatic bass-baritone who is known internationally for performing leading roles by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. He has also worked in concert halls and given lieder recitals.
Claire Born was a German operatic soprano. A long-term member of the Vienna State Opera and the Semperoper in Dresden, she appeared at leading international opera houses and festivals, in roles such as Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos. She performed in world premieres including Hindemith's Cardillac and Othmar Schoeck's Vom Fischer un syner Fru.
Bent Norup was a Danish operatic heldenbaritone. He was a member of the Royal Danish Theatre and opera houses in Germany, and appeared internationally, especially in stage works by Richard Wagner, including his signature role Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. He also performed in contemporary opera and in concert. He was appointed a knight of the Order of the Dannebrog.
Ruth Hesse is a German dramatic mezzo-soprano. She was a member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1962 to 1995, and appeared internationally, including the Bayreuth Festival and the Salzburg Festival. She appeared regularly at the Vienna State Opera from 1965 to 1988, and was appointed an Austrian Kammersängerin in 1982. In Berlin, she took part in the world premiere of Henze's Der junge Lord.
Günther Groissböck is an Austrian operatic bass. Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic for The New York Times, described Groissböck's "imposing and good-looking" portrayal of Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, as "a revelation". James Jorden of the New York Observer praised Groissböck's "innovative take" on the role and his "big, virile sound". A 2018 recording of the Met performance was nominated for Grammy Award in the Best Opera Recording.
Kwangchul Youn is a South Korean operatic bass and academic voice teacher. He made an international career based in Germany, from 1994 to 2004 at the Berlin State Opera. He has performed leading roles at international opera houses and festivals, such as Gurnemanz in Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival, Mephisto in Faust at the Vienna State Opera, and King Marke in Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera.
Hilde Scheppan was a German operatic soprano and academic teacher. She was engaged for 20 years at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and made guest appearances at the Bayreuth Festival from 1937 to 1958. She performed roles in Wagner's stage works in productions by Heinz Tietjen both in Berlin and Bayreuth. After World War II, she first continued work in Berlin, but then moved to the Staatsoper Stuttgart. She taught as a professor of voice at the Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg and the Musikhochschule München.