President's Report June 1999

Dear Members

This year seems to be going from strength to strength. The weekend at Pokolbin was a great success when 17 members were warmly welcomed to Catersfield by our hosts Rosemary Cater-Smith and Alec Cater. Robert Gibson gave two excellent lectures which stimulated much discussion, and our gala dinner became a tour de force when a six o'clock thunderstorm caused a five-hour blackout and we dined by candle-light and marvelled at the skill of the caterers who produced a delicious, multi course meal despite enormous difficulty. I do thank those members who wrote letters of thanks and appreciation - and yes, we will try to arrange another weekend next year. Our heartfelt thanks go to Rosemary and Alec who ensured that everything went smoothly.

In March we opened our own Internet homepage and our thanks go to many people. First to Dennis Mather who suggested the idea to me. Then to Terence Watson and Roger Cruickshank who formed a small sub-committee to carry the task forward with the help of Dennis, John Studdert, and Marc Greyling. Barbara Brady has now joined them to provide liaison with the Newsletter. Marc has done a huge amount of work in launching our page and has offered to undertake responsibility for maintaining it on a voluntary basis. We greatly appreciate Marc's enthusiasm, expertise and generosity. You will find our page on

It is now up to us all to contribute views and information to demonstrate our awareness, interest and involvement in Wagnerian events both here and overseas.

As our page was launched we were overwhelmed by an offer from Betty and Reg Maloney to meet the costs associated with its development, an offer we accepted with great pleasure. It is indeed fitting that two of our Foundation Members should be the ones to lead us into the future and we do thank them both.

I regret that I was not at the Annual Lunch this year. but I know Clare Hennessy made everyone very welcome. As you were enjoying your meal I was drinking a toast to the Master in Prague on my roundabout way to the San Francisco Ring with some fellow Wagnerians.

This month sees the two SSO Siegfried concerts and we are proud to sponsor Danny Sumegi in the role of Fafner. The response to the concerts has been excellent and we reserved over 100 tickets with Wagner lovers coming from New Zealand, Melbourne and Adelaide.

The first Australasian Seminar on Saturday 26th June at the Goethe Institut, prior to the Siegfried performance, will be very well attended. Speakers will be Professor Heath Lees from New Zealand and Robert Gibson from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Bookings are essential, as we shall be serving a light lunch, so please ring Barry Walters on (02) 9387 6642 for information.

Finally two of our members have been ill recently: Betty Maloney and Elizabeth Jones, and we do wish them both a speedy recovery.