Wagner, Wieland

BORN 5 Jan 1917, Bayreuth, Bayern - DIED 17 Oct 1966, München, Bayern
CAUSE OF DEATH lung cancer
GRAVE LOCATION Bayreuth, Bayern: Stadtfriedhof

Son of Siegfried Wagner and grandson of Richard Wagner. He grew up in Bayreuth where Adolf Hitler, a close friend of his mother, was a frequent visitor during his youth. In 1941 he married dancer and choreographer Gertrud Reissinger.

During the war he still visited Hitler in Berlin. He avoided entering the army as a soldier by becoming a deputy civilian leader at the Bayreuth sattelite (Aussenlager) of the Flossenbürg concentration camp. After the war he told his children that he hadn't been a supporter of the nazis.

Together with his brother Wolfgang he became festival director of the Festspiele in Bayreuth when the festival reopened in 1951. As a stage director and a designer he introduced a new style to the opera's that had mostly been performed in the way that Richard Wagner had created them in the previous century. His 1951 version of "Parsifal" was staged for a long time in Bayreuth. Apart from Bayreuth he worked in Naples, London, Paris and other cities.

During the early 1960s he fell in love with the young Anja Silja, one of the singers he had hired for Bayreuth. He left his family for her. In 1965 he received the German Pour le Mérite order. The next year he died of lung cancer.

• Father: Wagner, Siegfried
• Mother: Wagner-Williams, Winnifred
• Wife: Reissinger, Gertrud (1941-, Nußdorf, Bodensee)
• Brother: Wagner, Wolfgang

Related persons
• has a connection with Mödl, Martha
• was opponent of Preetorius, Emil

29/3/1918Cosima plays the Steinway piano in Bayreuth for the first time since Richard Wagner's death. She played parts of the "Siegfried-Idyll" because of the birth of Wagner's first grandson Wieland. "The Siegfried-Idyll" was composed by Wagner after his son Siegfried was born. Afterwards Cosima would never play the Steinway again. [Liszt, Cosima][Wagner, Richard]
29/7/1951Opening of the first Festspiele in Bayreuth after the Second World War. After the Second World War, the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth stood under American command. After a while the Americans granted the Wagner family permission to resume the Festspiele. Winifred Wagner wasn't allowed to return to her post as director. She was succeeded by her son Wieland Wagner. [Wagner, Richard][Wagner-Williams, Winnifred]


The grave of Siegfried, Wieland and Winnifred Wagner at the Stadtfriedhof, Bayreuth.
Picture by Androom (25 Aug 1996)


The Wagner gravesite at the Stadtfriedhof, Bayreuth.
Picture by Androom (24 Jan 2006)


Biografisch Worterbuch zur Deutsche Geschichte, Francke Verlag, München, 1975
• Gutman, Robert, Richard Wagner, Der Mensch, sein Werk, seine Zeit, Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, München, 1989
• Hamann, Brigitte, Winifred Wagner oder Hitlers Bayreuth, Piper, München, 2003
• Marek, George R., Cosima Wagner, Ein Leben für ein Genie, Knaur, München, 1993
• Wagner, Friedelind, Nacht über Bayreuth, Die Geschichte der Enkelin Richard Wagners, List Taschenbuch, München, 2002
Wieland Wagner - Wikipedia

Wagner, Wolfgang

Published: 27 Dec 2008
Last update: 25 Apr 2022