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Half sisters to head up Wagner fest

September 02, 2008|From the Associated Press

The board on Monday named half-sisters Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier to replace their father at the helm of the German festival dedicated to the music of composer Richard Wagner.

The women -- the composer's great-granddaughters -- will replace their father, Wolfgang Wagner, who stepped down at the end of August after 57 years as director of the festival.

The question of who would succeed the 89-year-old has generated as much drama as a Wagnerian opera.

Wolfgang and his brother Wieland took charge of the festival in 1951. After the death of Wieland, Wolfgang became the sole director in 1967.

Katharina, 30, and Eva, 63, were chosen over another family member -- Wolfgang's niece, Nike Wagner -- who applied for the job in tandem with renowned Belgian director Gerard Mortier.

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