Good news: Eva Wagner leaves hospital a year after drowning incident

Good news: Eva Wagner leaves hospital a year after drowning incident


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2022

The Wagner heiress Eva Wagner-Pasquier, who was dragged lifeless 11 months ago from the River Isar, has finally left hospital in Munich.

Eva, 77, said: ‘”I have no idea what happened that day. I can’t remember… Now I’m fighting my way back to life. It’s a long way and I have to take care of myself. But I’m doing quite well.’

Eva was joint head of Bayreuth with her half-sister Katharina until an inevitable Götterdämmerung in 2015 left the younger woman in sole charge

(file picture from 2015)


  • CRogers says:

    I hope she fully recovers and carries on with a rich life.

  • william osborne says:

    Her contributions to the opera world are considerable. In addition to working at Bayreuth from 1967 to 2015, she has been associated with among others the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House, Opéra Bastille, the Houston Grand Opera, the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Teatro Real, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and The Metropolitan Opera. I hope she is healthy and will enjoy the rest of her life.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Not to minimize Eva Wagner’s contributions to opera, but you may be a little over-enthusiastic in your facts.

      According to Norman Lebrecht in 2015, “Eva was evicted from Bayreuth after her father Wolfgang divorced her mother to marry PR chief Gudrun Mack, a woman one year older than his own daughter. But she was reconciled with Wolfgang before his death and those traumas are long past.” This is well-documented.

      Therefore, Eva Wagner probably had a more than 30-year “hiatus” from the Bayreuth Festival beginning in the late ’70s until her step-mother’s death in 2007.

      However, Eva struck out on her own and earned her considerable stripes with companies in Europe and the US.

      • Renato says:

        Without the name Wagner things might have been more difficult for her! Her son dropped his family name now as well. Doing video installation with Wagner’s music. Ok – this is human behavior most of the time.

      • William Osborne says:

        It’s true, Wagner-Pasquier acted as her father Wieland Wagner’s assistant at Bayreuth only from 1967 to 1975. It wasn’t due to a lack of ability that she stopped, but to family divisions.

        • Peter Schünemann says:

          William Osborne, I apologize for correcting you. Eva Wagner-Pasqier’s father was Wolfgang Wagner, not Wieland.

        • Renato says:

          The family history is as intense as the Ring. The first wife of Wolfgang W. did document all matters – the rights are with Gottfried. But I do think that some good friends do have copies. Wasn’t KW in coma for some weeks two year ago? Hmm….now she is sitting like Alberich on her hill and destroying Richard Wagner’s art. But she wont be successful.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Like a true Rhinemaiden, Eva has made her reappearance. Seriously, this is wonderful news.

  • Gustavo says:

    Swimming in the Isar and it’s associated waters is generally considered a high-risk activity.

    There is no excuse for carelessly disregarding restrictions and risks.

    “Although the authorities do not strictly enforce the swimming ban, they caution against the dangers even for experienced swimmers: the Eisbach has a very strong current and no fixed exit points, which makes it hard to get out again. Hence, swimmers sometimes float too far and get stuck in the lattice behind the Tivoli bridge before the hydroelectric power plant, where they must be rescued. Also, the Eisbach is shallow, which can lead to injuries not only when jumping in, but while swimming, because obstacles like stones, broken glass and even dumped bicycles can be found on its bed. Lastly, even in the summer, the water does not get warmer than 15 °C, which harbors the risk of hypothermia.”

  • Isobel Buchanan says:

    I was shocked to read about this last year and delighted to read the news that Eva Wagner-Pasquier has recovered enough to go home. Many years ago when I was singing in Munich the kind and wonderful Lucia Pop took me and my one year old daughter for lunch at Eva’s home. I still cherish a photo of Eva’s son and my daughter, both the same age taken from behind and looking over a low wall to the garden. One of those memories that stay in the mind and conjure up happy days. I send all my good wishes for a full recovery to Eva. BTW, our children are 40 years old now!

    • Antwerp Smerle says:

      Totally off-topic, I know, but I’d love to hear from Isobel what it was like to sing Micaëla with Carlos Kleiber?

      • Isobel Buchanan says:

        Hello Antwerp Smerle.. My experience of singing with Carlos Kleiber was thrilling. I arrived in the final few days of rehearsals to take over from the original Micaela who was sick. I had only one session with Carlos as time was short and his first words to me were, “Dohnanyi says you are the best Pamina in the world. I hope he has not given me a white elephant!” I didn’t know what to think!
        It was such an enlightening and new experience for me to see how he shaped and moulded the aria in particular and took any hint of sentimentality out of it, but left me to express my own feelings through the character. He was a very intense man and very self demanding which made the people he worked with want to rise to his level of musicianship. I wish I had had more time to work with him and there was talk of another opera, but it never happened. Nevertheless, I was very fortunate to have had those five performances with him. I stood in the wings every night, watching him conduct on the monitor and from the very start he was immersed in the opera, right to the last note. What a thrill for a young singer to have been involved in and he was, in his quiet way, very encouraging and complimentary. Interestingly, every conductor I have worked with since has asked me how it was to work with him. A genius!
        Best Wishes, Isobel

        • Antwerp Smerle says:

          Many thanks for that lovely memoir! We are so lucky that the production was filmed and is available on DVD. A genius indeed: it’s remarkable how many conductors (and other musicians) mention CK when asked “whom do you admire the most?”

          • Player says:

            A great recollection indeed. There is a small ‘link’ here, since Eva Wagner and Carlos Kleiber were at one time connected.

    • constant reader says:

      What a joy to see your name. One of mine would be Fra Diavolo in Sydney, and then some! Best wishes to you and thanks for the memories.

      And sincere best wishes to Eva Wagner-Pasquier, with whom we shared dinner after the Herheim Parsifal. What an ordeal. The Isar I mean.

      • Isobel Buchanan says:

        Thank you for that…Fra Diavolo was a fun piece to do and I loved living in Sydney…even married and Australian!

  • Rob says:

    Time for a bath?

  • Renato says:

    I know the family somehow – also her mother told me many ‘secrets’. I even talked to Eva once on the phone regarding her mother who never got over the divorce. I was sad about Eva’s Isar expierence but it did remind me of her mother. Karma is working for all people all the time on this planet. We all have to face it. May she get peace and overcome all resentments. – Yes the Eisbach is somehow dangerous but thousands of people jump in there during summer. I dont think that this was her goal.