#Welcome from our Chairman
#Secretary of the Wagner Society of Scotland
#Programme 2020 -21

Welcome from our Chairman

Because of Coronavirus lockdowns, the current year is of course turning out to be nothing like that which your committee had so carefully planned for our membership in 2020. Our monthly talks were postponed for the current session; this year’s Gartmore course on Siegfried – the third of the four to be delivered by David Nice – is now cancelled, along with the Bayreuth Festival. The attendance of our 2020 Stipendiat winner Tomas Leakey has been pushed forward to 2021. As if all that were not enough, the RWVI Kongress in Bonn has been cancelled and the Delegates’ Meeting will now take place in Berlin in January 2021 as part of their Symposium – 70 Years of the New Bayreuth. Being Berlin there will be plenty of opera and music, not to mention food and drink associated with the event! However, that is reliant of course upon the successful containment of the CV-19 pandemic by 2021.

Despite the huge disappointment attendant upon all these cancellations and postponements, your committee has recently begun meeting online in a successful Zoom session, planning for the coming year. This abbreviated newssheet replaces the July newsletter and is intended to update you on our 2020-2021 programme. We would also like to reassure you that your society is in excellent shape and strong enough to withstand such vicissitudes. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to the Society’s forthcoming programme, once the pandemic is over. Please stay in contact, and check the website regularly for changes: www.wagnerscotland.net

Derek Williams


In view of the current situation, the future uncertainty and feedback from some of those who had registered, the Committee has decided to cancel our Siegfried course scheduled for September. The treasurer has returned all deposits and monies paid to booked members. This was a difficult and sad decision as our residential courses are a long-standing feature of the Society’s curriculum and much appreciated by those who attend. However, health and safety must always be our primary concern. We are investigating the possibility of David Nice presenting the Siegfried course online using Zoom over several weeks in the summer. Please get in touch if you have views on this matter.

Dale Bilsland


One glimmer of hope in these bleak times is that the Opera North Parsifal is now open for booking, including the Usher Hall on 2nd June 2021.

Secretary of the Wagner Society of Scotland

Our secretary John Anderton has indicated that he will be standing down from this key position at the Annual General Meeting in December this year. He has been an excellent secretary for the past four years, working tirelessly to engage the best speakers and to ensure that meetings run smoothly. He will be a hard act to follow.

Nevertheless, we will need someone to step into John’s shoes to arrange the programme, organise and look after our speakers, record the minutes of meetings and keep the committee up to speed. If anyone feels able to help, please get in touch with our Chairman Derek Williams in the first instance for an informal chat.

Programme 2020 -21

All meetings take place at Edinburgh Society of Musicians, 3 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3BL (by Dean Bridge). With the exception of the January Study Day, they commence at 6.30pm.

18th October 2020 Jeremy Coleman: Richard Wagner in Paris: Translation, Identity, Modernity

15th November 2020 Philip White Experience with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus

6th December 2020 Annual General Meeting
Michael Graham the 2019 Stipendiat Bayreuth 2019: A Young Conductor’s Perspective

10h January 2021 Paul Dawson-Bowling: Study Day on Rienzi

14th February 2021 John Willmett Wagner’s Die Meistersinger: Renunciation of Self and the World

14th March 2021 Kevin Stephen Liszt and Wagner: friends, relatives, influences

18th April 2021 Stephen Johnson Janne’s Rhine Journey

16th May 2021 Alberto Massimo Scandal in opera and in life