News from the Richard Wagner Society (Victoria)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg resounded in Melbourne in November. Opera Australia’s co-production with the Royal Opera House and Beijing’s National Centre for Performing Arts was stunning visually with its Escher-like 4D organ set (4D because it moves at various times) and lavish costumes. Maestro Petari Inkinen’s conducting was superb and Orchestra Victoria and soloists gave strong performances. The Society sponsored young Australian soprano Natalie Aroyan in the role of Eva, whose debut Wagnerian performance was widely acclaimed. We also sponsored Michael Honeyman who performed Hermann Ortel. Michael Kupfer-Radecky was a quietly humane Hans Sachs; heldentenor Stefan Vinke performed the role of Walther, returning to Australia after his successful Covent Garden Siegfried.
WS Victoria new President Susan Cumming with Stefan Vinke
Heath Lees at the piano
The audience at the Heath Lees event
Very successful were Professor Heath Lees’ four pre-Meistersinger talks held at St John’s Lutheran Church in the Arts precinct. Hosted by the Society there were 618 attendees, mainly from Australia and New Zealand, with Stefan Vinke declaring the talks ‘outstanding’.
The Society has the opportunity to sponsor two more young Australian artists in February 2019. In Melbourne Opera’s new Der fliegende Holl?nder production, to be conducted by Longborough Festival conductor Maestro Anthony Negus, soprano Lee Abrahmsen will perform the role of Senta. Darren Jeffrey is singing the role of the Dutchman, Erik. (Visit http://www.melbourneopera.com/flying-dutchman.html)
Continuing Melbourne’s current feast of Wagnerian performances, Victorian Opera’s new Parsifal production, under the baton of Artistic Director Sir Richard Mills, is eagerly awaited. We are very excited about sponsoring Derek Welton as Klingsor. Derek recently sung this role in Bayreuth. Burkhard Fritz is heading the cast performing the role of Parsifal. Exciting too is that Katarina Dalayman, who sang Kundry so excellently at the Met, is coming to Melbourne. (Visit https://www.victorianopera.com.au/season/parsifal)
Dr Susan Cumming and Miki Oikawa have been elected President and Secretary, respectively, for 2 year terms. Tom O’Dea continues in the role of Treasurer. We have an exciting 2019 program for members (refer attached RWS Vic Members’ Functions). (Visit http://wagnermelb.org.au/2019)