We should like to make you aware of the difficult situation confronting the Wagner Society of Scotland. At the end of the year the Secretary, Bayreuth Officer and Newsletter Editor intend standing down and the Treasurer/ Membership Secretary will stand down at the end of the following year. Without members coming forward to fill these vacancies the Society cannot continue in its present form. We may face joining with another British Wagner Society or disbanding altogether. If you feel passionately about WSoS, please get in touch with the Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Bayreuth Officer (email@example.com) or the Newsletter Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the absence of our regular Gartmore course, David Nice, in association with the Wagner Society of Scotland, has undertaken to present an online Opera in Depth course examining Tristan und Isolde. The Zoom course will begin on Wednesday 28th July and last for 10 weeks. Each session will last two hours and is sure to be as interesting and enlightening as David’s courses always are. The price is £100 per device (not person). Payment for the sessions should be arranged directly with David. (email@example.com)
We have made a provisional booking at Newbattle Abbey for September next year when we hope we will be able to return to providing face-to-face courses for our members.
Our 2020 Stipendiat, Tomas Leakey is collaborating with composer Matthew King to create a one movement chamber symphony from some musical sketches left when Richard Wagner died. It is thought that he might have been turning his attention to symphonic composition, after the discovery of his “lost” Symphony in C Major (WWV 29) of 1832. The project has been substantially funded by Creative Scotland, and the Wagner Society of Scotland has also contributed £1,000. If anyone wishes more information or would consider supporting the project, please contact Dale Bilsland (dalebilsland1@gmailcom).
We very much hope that Tomas will be permitted to attend this year’s Bayreuth Festival for Tannhäuser, Der Fliegende Holländer and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as well as talks, visits and other performances.
We are hoping that our future monthly events can again be held at the Edinburgh Society of Musicians, 3 Belford Road, EH14 3BL. These will begin at 6.30pm and will be recorded and available online for those unable to attend in person. Full details of these events will be sent out by email by our Secretary a week before; anyone wishing to access the live recording should inform the Secretary prior to that. This is a new venture for WSoS and we hope that you will bear with us in this endeavour. Should physical meetings not be possible by October, you will be informed of the change as soon as possible.
10th October 2021
25th Anniversary Celebration with Linda Esther Gray
Linda will talk about ‘Wagner and Me! Before, During and After.’ This will be followed by light refreshments.
14th November 2021
‘Experience with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus’ – Philip White
5th December 2021
AGM and Social Event
‘Experience of Bayreuth’ – Tomas Leakey
16th January 2022
‘Lohengrin and the limits of Left-Wing Politics’ – Graham Arnott
13th February 2022
‘Wagner’s Die Meistersinger: Renunciation of Self and the World’ – John Willmett
13th March 2022
‘Scandal in opera and in Ife’ – Alberto Massimo
10th April 2022
‘Rienzi’ Study Day – Paul Dawson-Bowling
15th May 2022
Special Double Bill: Katy Hamilton and Flora Willson
Katy will speak on Wagner and Czech opera.
Flora will talk on Wagner
Any WSoS member who has a relevant presentation which they might be prepared to deliver at short notice via Zoom should discuss this in the first instance with our Chair, Derek Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Booking is now open for English National Opera’s The Valkyrie (in English) in November and December, as a prelude to the four operas being presented over the next four years, followed by complete cycles. They are booking the entire auditorium! https://eno.org/whats-on/the-valkyrie/
Birmingham Opera Company is planning to stage Rhinegold in August (dates to be confirmed) directed by Graham Vick and conducted by Alpesh Chauhan: https://www.birminghamopera.org.uk/wagners-rhinegold
Longborough Festival Opera has announced that it will stream free of charge a recording of its Die Walküre in the summer. No further details yet so check their website: https://lfo.org.uk/
Tickets for this year’s Bayreuth Festival will go on sale online on 4th July:
The Aix-en-Provence Festival is streaming Tristan und Isolde live on 8th July: https://festival-aix.com/en/event/tristan-und-isolde
Opera North plans its concert staging of Parsifal (cancelled for this year) in June 2022 at various locations in the north of England, but sadly not Edinburgh. https://www.operanorth.co.uk/news/new-season-announced-for-2021-22/