© Theater Bonn, Lohengrin, Thilo Beu 2019


27. Feb 2023
27. Feb 2023
Thelma Hunter Recital Room, Landmark Center, 75 Fifth Street West, Saint Paul,
Wagner’s Nightmare
Wagner’s Nightmare

When: 27 Feb 2023 2:00 PM, CST
Where: Thelma Hunter Recital Room, Landmark Center, 75 Fifth Street West, Saint Paul, MN 55102


Wagner’s Nightmare is a tongue-in-cheek musical celebration of Richard Wagner, his polemical personality, and the viola alta – the special type of viola Wagner had built for the Bayreuth Festival.  Program details.: Wagner's Nightmare St. Paul Program.pdf (wagnertc.org)

Wagner was keenly interested in modifications to existing instruments or new instruments in the orchestra to produce the kind of tonal colors that he imagined. He was dissatisfied with the tone color of the standard viola. When a musician introduced Wagner to a modified viola called the viola alta, Wagner preferred the sound of the viola alta and used the viola alta in his orchestra at the Bayreuth Festival. A significant body of solo music was written for the viola alta. However, contemporary opera house orchestras use the standard viola that Wagner disliked. Wagner’s Nightmare delves into the viola alta repertoire, music by composers that “Wagner would not like,” as well as transcriptions of music composed by Wagner.

Violist Daniel Orsen and Pierre-Nicolas Colombat, his collaborative pianist, will perform these musical works. Daniel Orsen joined the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on September, 2022 (click here for his bio). Click here for Mr. Colombat’s bio.

The music that comprises Wagner’s Nightmare has been recorded, and the album was released in early February, 2023. This concert is one of several to celebrate the release of this album.


$15 Members and their guests

$20 Non-members and their guests

When registering, please proceed as far as the “review and confirm” page and click “confirm”! For assistance, please contact info@wagnertc.org.


The concert will be in the Thelma Hunter Recital Room, which is Room 205 on the second floor of Landmark Center in Saint Paul. The handicap-accessible entrance to Landmark Center is located on Market Street.