Richard Wagner kin fight for control of Bayreuth Festival

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The fight for Germany's most famous cultural institution has entered its final round, with the great grand-daughters of composer Richard Wagner slugging it out for control of the Bayreuth Festival.

Family feuding over the festival, a world-renowned annual celebration of Wagner's operas, has dogged the battle for succession to current director, Wolfgang Wagner.

He is stepping down following this year's festival, which ended on Thursday.

The question of who would succeed him appeared settled earlier this year however, when Wolfgang's daughters, Katharina and Eva, launched a joint bid for control of Bayreuth.

Their application looked set to be rubber stamped by Bayreuth's board, which is due to meet next Monday to appoint the festival's new director.

But with just days to go before the meeting, Nike Wagner, a daughter of Wolfgang Wagner's brother, Wieland, has submitted her own application to run the festival, in partnership with current head of the Paris opera, Gerard Mortier.

The last-gasp bid has set the so-called Wagner 'Valkyries' against each other, re-igniting long standing family divisions which go back a generation.

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