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Sunday, July 25, 1999 Published at 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK

World: Europe

Boos herald opening of Wagner festival

Opera-goers at one of the most prestigious musical events of the year -- the annual Richard Wagner festival at Bayreuth in Germany -- booed the German culture minister, Michael Naumann, during the opening performance.

The festival director -- the composer's grandson, Wolfgang Wagner -- is opposing German government plans to cut the festival's subsidy.

There's already a Wagner family feud over who will take over the festival shortly, with Mr Wagner's wife, Gudrun, being challenged by his daughter Eva, and by his niece, Nike Wagner, who is calling for a more modern approach.

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