About the Society NSW and its Committee

About the Society

Members of the Wagner Society NSW are lovers of Wagner's music and operas. Society events are held most months at 2.00pm usually on a Sunday and normally at the Goethe Institut, 90 Ocean Street, Woollahra. These include presentations by Wagner singers, conductors and directors of Wagner operas; recitals by Wagner singers; seminars on topics relating to Wagner's music and current productions of Wagner operas; and concerts by singers supported by the Society. In addition, DVDs of Wagner operas or related areas are often shown before the meeting (but not before recitals or concerts).

Members of the public are most welcome.

President: Dr Colleen Chesterman
Patron: Simone Young AM

Wagner Society in NSW
Honorary Life Members

Roger Cruikshank
Professor Michael Ewans
Horst Hoffman
Richard King
Dr Dennis Mather
Dr Terence Watson


Wagner Society in NSW
The Society's Aims


  • to promote the music of Richard Wagner and his contemporaries and to encourage a wider understanding of their work. 
  • to support the training of young Wagnerian or potential Wagnerian performers from NSW:  

    --- downloadable word sponsorship form
    --- pdf sponsorship form

Wagner Society in NSW
Committee elected at the 2019 AGM

President: Colleen Chesterman 
Vice Presidents: Michael Day & Esteban Insausti
Treasurer: Margaret Whealy 
Secretary: Michael Day 
Members: Lis Bergmann, 
Rhonda Dalton, Nick Dorsch, Florian Hammerbacher, Marie Leech and Mailis Wakeham

Other functions
Public Officer: Alasdair Beck 
Newsletter Editor: Michael Day 

Membership Secretary: Lis Bergmann
Artists' Liaison: Leona Geeves

Wagner Society in NSW
Social media

You can follow us on Facebook and view our Youtube channel.

Wagner Society in NSW
The Society's Chronology and Significant Events

Following discussions in Bayreuth and London by several people interested in having a Wagner Society in Sydney, the Foundation meeting attended by 15 people was held at the Print Room Gallery, London on 26 October 1980. At this meeting an interim committee was formed to report back and the Society's Swan Lines logo was designed by Michel Arnould.

By early 1981, the Wagner Society of NSW had been established as an unincorporated association. Its first public function, a film evening showing documentaries on Bayreuth and the Ring centenary, was held in March 1981. Its first Annual General Meeting, at which the interim committee stepped down, a new committee was elected and the Constitution was adopted, was held on 22 May. Dr Leonard Hansen became the Society's first President and Sir Charles Mackerras its first Patron. Founding Members were each presented with a book "The Wagner Family Albums". Wagner's birthday was celebrated after the meeting, with German food and wine.

The Society was established as an incorporated association on 15 December 1986 (with alteration of the original Objects and Rules accepted on 31 August 1987).

More recent events:

  • 1999 saw the launch of the Society's website.
  • New Rules were adopted in 2005.
  • In 2011 the Society's membership reached 1000 (both financial and unfinancial).
  • The original logo for the Society was replaced by the current one in 2013, and was reflected in the new Wagner Society Quarterlies and on this website.

Wagner Society in NSW

Dr Leonard Hansen 
Richard King 
Olive Coonan
Ramon Josey
Paul Lehman
Barbara McNulty 
Roger Cruickshank 
Jane Mathews AO
Dr Colleen Chesterman (2017 -  )


Wagner Society in NSW

Sir Charles Mackerras 
Ms Simone Young AM (2011 -  )


Wagner Society in NSW


The Society supports the following singers:

Maia Andrews
Samantha Crawford
Chris Curcuruto 
Eleanor Greenwood
Damien Noyce

Eugene Raggio
Joshua Salter
Laura Scandizzo
Katrina Sheppeard
Valda Wilson

--- downloadable word sponsorship form
--- pdf sponsorship form

Wagner Society in NSW

The Society also supports ...

The Sydney International Song Prize