The new application is a response to the application of Eva Wagner-Pasquier with her half sister Katharina Wagner (who has begun a career in opera stage direction) earlier this year. That application was something of a surprise, as it required a rather sudden reconciliation between the semi-siblings who had previously been divided both personally and professionally, as members of "opposing teams" in the succession question. Eva Wagner-Pasquier had previously applied together with Nike Wagner, and Katharina, who had initially been viewed as a stand-in for her mother (who passed away suddenly in December), had made a serious application together with the conductor Christian Thielemann, a specialist in late German romantic repertoire.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is on a real roll with their Bayreuth reporting. It had a hard-hitting article on Sunday which focused on the financial aspects, and was especially critical of the position of Katharina Wagner, who has a 30 percent share of a private commericial entity which had rights to certain income associated with Festival "products", yet does not contribute to the financing of a festival which receives a large state-subsidy and is regularly bailed out by the Society of the Friends of Bayreuth. The lack of transparency over ticket distribution (an interesting topic which could fill another post) and the price structure of the tickets received criticism as well; given the receipt of state subsidies, these are non-trivial questions.