Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Bayreuth Succession part 18: Götterdämmerung on the Green Hill - Nike refuses to give up

Previous episodes of this Wagnerian docu-soap may be read here, and for new readers the background of this unique Wagnerian docu-soap is written up here.

Nike Wagner (daughter of Wieland) and thus cousin of Eva and Katharina understandably feels side-tracked by the recently announced partnership of Eva and Katharina to bid for Bayreuth Festival leadership.

She tells the respected German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine that she learned of the new partnership via a journalist on a German television channel, but she was aware that Eva Wagner-Pasquier had spent Easter in Bayreuth with Wolfgang and Katharina.

Furthermore, Nike Wagner refuses to give up, claiming that she and Eva already have submitted a proposition for Bayreuth Festival leadership to the Board of Directors on March 31. According to the newspaper Kurier, this proposition is however invalid, since it lacks Eva Wagner-Pasquiers signature.

Nike furthermore says to Berliner Morgenpost, that the Eva-Katharina partnership is in her opinion a pseudo-partnership, since she claims that Eva will retire in a couple of years, leaving Katharina in charge alone.

Whatever way one chooses to look at it, there cannot be much doubt that Nike Wagner is out. Not that she was ever really "in" in the first place.

The influential "Friends of Bayreuth" organization, on which the Festival rely on a certain degree for economical support, are very positive towards the Eva Wagner-Pasquier/Katharina Wagner constellation.

Renowned German conductor and Chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonics Christian Thielemann is still very much a member of this team. In an interview with Tagesspiegel yesterday Christian Thielemann says:

"What is closer than his solution? You could at a maximum bring forward the accusation that they had not come together much sooner. Both Eva and Katharina are Wolfgang Wagner's daughters. It may be that over time one or another wedge has been driven into their relationship. But the sisters are not so different."

He continues: "With Eva, we must first talk. I, for example, would be interested to know by what criteria the singers were cast for the "Ring" of the Berlin Philharmonic in Aix-en-Provence for which she is responsible." [I would be even more interested to know by what criteria the singers for his own Bayreuth Ring were selected..]

"First of all, this whole unworthy dispute must end", he says.

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