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
Honorary Life Members
Professor Michael Ewans
Dr Dennis Mather
Dr Terence Watson
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:
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
Public Officer: Alasdair Beck
Newsletter Editor: Michael Day
Membership Secretary: Lis Bergmann
Artists' Liaison: Leona Geeves
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.
Dr Leonard Hansen
Jane Mathews AO
Dr Colleen Chesterman (2017 - )
Sir Charles Mackerras
Ms Simone Young AM (2011 - )
The Society supports the following singers:
The Society also supports ...