President's Annual Report 2007

President's Report for the Society's 27th year, from 1 January to 31 December 2007, delivered to the Annual General Meeting on 18 May 2008

Roger Cruickshank, 18 May 2008

Dear Members

I am pleased to present the President's Report for the 27th year of the Wagner Society in New South Wales Incorporated.


The Society's 2007 functions held in the Goethe-Institut included:

· In February, Terence Watson led a discussion group of members who had attended to Toronto and Costa Mesa Ring Cycles in 2006, which was followed by a talk by Terence on 'the 'Problem' of Siegfried';

  • In March, Robert Gay spoke about Wagner's debt to the model of French Grand Opera;
  • In April, Nigel Butterley gave his second talk on music and the Faust legend, entitled 'Faust and the Feminine';
  • In May, we held our AGM;
  • In July, I gave a talk on 'Wolfram';
  • In September, Professor Heath Lees from the New Zealand Society spoke on 'Wagner and Mallarme';
  • In October, members who had attended the Bayreuth Festival spoke about their experiences, and about Katharina Wagner's new production of 'Die Meistersinger';
  • In November, Antony Ernst gave a talk on 'Tristan and Isolde' in this Church; and
  • In December, we held our end-of-year party.

Prior to some of the meetings, we showed excerpts of DVDs including the film on Wagner's life by Tony Palmer.


Following the resolution passed at the 2007 AGM, the 2007 accounts will be audited. I'd like to thank Julie Carroll, who arranged with the firm of Walter Turnbull for this to be completed 'pro bono'.


We continue our good relations with the German Consulate, the Consul General, and with the Goethe-Institut, and we thank the Institut's Director, Klaus Krischok, and its officers and staff for their continued help and support. We are also continue to provide financial assistance each year to the Bayreuth Scholar, who is selected by Opera Foundation Australia and in 2007 was Warwick Fyfe, a member of the Society, and are very please to be able to support students from the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music by way of German Language scholarships at the Goethe-Institut.

There are many people in the Society I wish to thank, and foremost among them special thanks go to the members of your Committee who worked so hard on your behalf throughout 2007 - our Vice President, Julian Block, our Honorary Secretary, Alan Whelan, our Honorary Treasurer, Michael Moore, and our committee members Gaby Bremner-Moore, Terence Watson and Dennis Mather.

I'd particularly like to give Terence Watson , our Newsletter editor, special thanks. I regularly receive favourable comments about the high standard of our Newsletter from members, and from Societies within Australia and overseas, and I'd like to commend Terence for his hard work on our behalf.

Our thanks are due to Renata and Herman Junkers who give so generously of their time to provide the afternoon teas at our functions; to John Studdert our web-master, whose work on the web-site is also the subject of praise from other Societies; to our faithful Ravens, Camron Dyer and Richard Mason; and to Alasdair Beck, our Public Officer. I'd also like to thank those members who come early to our functions and lend a hand with the food or the name tags.


And finally I would like to thank you, our members, whose commitment to the Society and support for our functions, including this AGM, ensures that we can continue to provide scholarships and assistance for young artists, including the Bayreuth Scholar, and to further the aims of our Society. Your continuing interest and encouragement is the reason we are here today. Thank you all.

Roger Cruickshank, President