- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A family affair

A vote of 22-0 Monday ended a bitter internecine succession battle by choosing two of Richard Wagner’s great-granddaughters to run the Bayreuth Festival, deep in the heart of Bavaria.

Those chosen are half-sisters Katharina Wagner, 30, and Eva Wagner-Pasquier, 63, who will take over from their father, Wolfgang Wagner, 89, who retired after this year’s festival after 57 years in charge, Agence France-Presse reports.

The board - the Stiftungsrat - chose them instead of a proposed partnership of Mr. Wagner’s niece, Nike Wagner, 63, with Paris Opera chief and future New York City Opera General Director Gerard Mortier.

Gandolfini weds

“The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini married his girlfriend in Hawaii on Saturday, People magazine reports. The 46-year-old actor tied the knot with Deborah Lin, 40, during a 20-minute church ceremony in Honolulu, her hometown. People attributes its report to an unidentified guest.

Jolie in French?

Angelina Jolie says she would relish the chance to act in a European film and even may be ready to take a French-speaking part in a few years.

“No one has asked me yet,” she told Monday’s issue of Focus, one of Germany’s largest newsweeklies, when asked if she would like to work on the Continent.

“It would really interest me - there are more and more great films coming out of Europe and other cultures,” she is reported to have said.

Miss Jolie and her partner, Brad Pitt, have been learning French for two years and are living in the south of France.

Miss Jolie told Focus she rarely watches films on her own time. “I find it difficult to sit still for two hours,” she said. “I would rather read something or learn something or travel to experience something new.”

Mr. Pitt is the movie buff of the family, she said. “When we watch together, I usually fall asleep or press pause so I can take care of the kids.”

Law and peace

“When I left Kabul last year, I was hugely moved not by the conflict that I have read so much about, but by the people’s courage and the people’s sense of hope,” actor Jude Law told reporters Monday in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Mr. Law and director Jeremy Gilley have returned to Afghanistan to help maintain momentum for Peace Day, which occurs every Sept. 21 to urge a global cease-fire and nonviolence, Associated Press reports.

The U.N. General Assembly adopted Peace Day in 2001 following a lobbying campaign by Mr. Gilley that he documented in the film “Peace One Day.” Mr. Law helped Mr. Gilley produce his second documentary, “The Day After Peace.”

Mr. Law said the movie “was the most important film I have been part of.”

cCompiled from wire and Web reports

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