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Wolfgang Wagner's wife dies at 63

Wolfgang Wagner’s wife -and his long-time assistant in leading the annual Bayreuth opera festival - Gudrun Wagner -has died at 63.

No cause of death was immediately given, said Peter Emmerich, a spokesman for the annual Bayreuth Opera Festival founded by composer Richard Wagner.

Gudrun Wagner had worked closely with her husband in presenting the festival of operas by Richard Wagner, his grandfather.

The composer's descendants have been fighting to take control of the annual music festival when Wolfgang Wagner, 88, steps down. He had long insisted his wife was the only person capable of taking over his position as director of the festival.

Gudrun Wagner is survived by her husband and their daughter, Katharina, who also is seeking to take over her father's position as festival head.