Posted June 13, 2011

While some of these items are already posted here to the Wagner Society Blog Spot, there is plenty to read.  And it’s great to hear from Trish again. 



Hi, folks –

I know it’s been a while since my last E-Notes and I apologize, but I’m in the middle of medical treatments and just haven’t had any energy or focus. But I do want to get out one issue of E-Notes before the SFO Ring begins Tuesday. There’s so much going on!

Let’s start with a reminder of the WSNC’s fabulous upcoming programs…


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Symposia – The Love of Power, The Power of Love

Symposium #1 –  Saturday, June 18th  10:00 am
Cori Ellison (“The Women of the Ring – Erda and the Norns”)
Simon Williams (“Wagner’s Ring – An Existentialist Perspective”)
Hans Rudolph Vaget (“Minne and Macht: Cutting to the Quick of of Wagner’s Ring”)
Kip Cranna will moderate a panel discussion with members of the cast and artistic team.


Symposium #2 –  Saturday, June 25th  10:00 am
Hans Rudolph Vaget (“The Ring in Bayreuth and Beyond”)
Jeffrey Buller  (“The Eyes Have it: Glances, Glimpses and Glimmers in Wagner’s Ring”)
Lohn Lindow  (“Nordic Myths of Ragnarøk and Wagner’s Götterdämmerung”)
Kip Cranna will moderate a panel discussion with members of the cast and artistic team.

Symposium #3 –  Saturday, July 2nd  10:00 am
Jeffrey Buller (“Roads Scholar: Pilgrimages, Quests and Homecomings in Wagner’s Ring”)
Simon Williams (“Re-examining Alberich’s Curse”)
Christopher Weimer (“From Calderòn’s Caveman to Wagner’s Wolsungs: Classical Spanish Theater and the Ring”)
Kip Cranna will moderate a panel discussion with members of the cast and artistic team.


For complete information, and to purchase tickets online, please visit:

All symposia will be held at the War Memorial Veteran’s Building – 2nd Floor Green Room
401 Van Ness Avenue (next door to the War Memorial Opera House)

Cost: $55 WSNC members/$65 general


“Das Ende” Banquet

Sunday, June 26th immediately following the Cycle 2 Götterdämmerung

Dinner $85 at the Marines’ Memorial’s stunning Crystal Ballroom.
For more info, scheduled entertainment, menus, and to order tickets:


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An Interview with Verna

Maria Goodavage interviewed Verna Parino about her 53 Rings in 94 years (!) for “SF Classical Voice”


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Ring Tix for sale


WSNC member Catherine Teegarden needs to sell some tickets for the 3rd Ring Cycle

Siegfried on Friday, July 1
Götterdämmerung on July 3rd

One Dress Circle seat each night
Contact Catherine for more details :


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OperaBobb’s  “Ticket Exchange for the Admissionally Challenged”

In a related vein, here’s a great local resource for buying and selling opera tickets. OperaBobb is a local opera maven who is a WSNC member and active with the local Opera Guilds. He sends out frequent emails with a list of the myriad opera goings-on in the Bay Area. He also has a ticket exchange for folks with tickets to sell or wanted to buy. Bobb isn’t an intermediary. It’s a free service and is up to the buyer and seller to contact each other and work out the details and purchase arrangements.

To subscribe to this newsletter, send your name, city, and email address to

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMITTING TO OPERABOBB’S TICKET EXCHANGE (it’s more efficient for Bobb if you use this format):

Opera Name for Sale from your name
Date and time, number of tickets, seat location (plus comment on location if appropriate), your $ charge for the ticket, and how to contact (email and/or telephone).

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Glyndebourne Meistersinger live on June 26  (for those in the UK)
So deliciously enticing:,_.___


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From an anonymous source:

Leitmotive Audio Guides
Primers to listen to on CD for those who want to learn more about the motifs  
Deryck Cooke – fast pace  
Speight Jenkins – even faster still
Ring Motifs (Sven Friedrich + John Tomlinson)  It’s excellent and Tomlinson’s narration is like liquid velvet.  Make sure to order THE ENGLISH VERSION. It seems to be out of print and cost is roughly £60.
Also last year’s speaker, Saul Lillienstein, has created a set which is available through the Washington National Opera website.  I have the one for Das Rheingold and it is quite good.  He has a tendency to talk over the music, but his enthusiasm for the score is quite infectious.  
–  Not just WAGNER!



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Bad News from the Front

The following is from Mike Scott Rohan, mainstay of the Wagner news group
Mike also contributes to many music publications, including Gramophone and Opera magazines.


Ring abandoned

Some unhappy news for European Ring-goers

Probably the best and sanest of the current Euro-cycles, that produced
by David McVicar for Opera du Rhin, has just been completed, to great
acclaim, with a Gotterdammerung featuring Lance Ryan and Jeanne-
Michele Charbonnet. As a reward for this success, the company’s new
Intendant, a Frenchman, has completely and at very short notice
cancelled all the planned performances of the complete cycle — which
I was looking forward to attending. Apparently, although this hasn’t
been stated outright, he wants something more “modern”, preferably by
a French rather than a British producer.

He has. however, graciously consented not to destroy the sets and
costumes, as originally intended, but make them available for sale. So
if another company is looking for a really good, theatrically modern
but not deformative Ring — there’s even a Grane, if rather unusual —
they can take it off M. Le Crapaud’s hands.

Altogether a fascinating example of how the opera world can work, and
how wasteful these creeps can be with public money. Opera du Rhin is
based in Strasbourg, the other Euro-capital, and enjoys vast Euro-
subventions, plus superb theatres and concert halls (the world’s most
comfortable seats, I’ve found). Unfortunately it also seems to share
in the usual Euro-nationalist spats.

McVicar is a very good producer, if occasionally a touch camp, as
those who’ve seen his ROH Magic Flute and Rigoletto on disc can
testify, and his Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare with Danielle de Niese.
He’s also producing this summer’s Glyndebourne Meistersinger, which
opens next month — apparently in a Biedermeier-period setting, but
otherwise fairly straightforward; Gerald Finley sings Sachs. So I hope
somebody will snap this production up, producer, cast and all; I shall
be mentioning it to everyone I can.

Incidentally, and to cheer myself up a bit, may I be egotistic enough
to mention that the April issue of Opera magazine, to fit in with the
Glyndebourne Meistersinger, features an article by me, expounding the
re-evaluation of that final speech, which many here have seen? Due
credit is given to the group for inspiring it!

And the bad news just keeps on coming…
I’m sure it’s not news any more that the New York City Opera has bailed from Linclon Center and is chopping it’s next season. So sad.


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Excellent interview with Jonas Kaufmann on his Siegmund at the Met — and other Wagner stuff.


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The William O. Cord Memorial Grant Fund has received a letter from Jane Eaglen, presently on the faculty of Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.  Baldwin-Wallace has a Conservatory Program and a beautifully renovated performing arts venue, the Fynette Kulas Music Hall.  Ms. Eaglen and her colleagues have created a “Wagner Boot Camp” for young aspiring Wagnerian Singers, the project is named “Wagner Intensive”.  In this program vocal students will receive one week of intensive coaching, master classes, German language coaching and more.  This is the first year of this project and the only such training program of its kind.  Joining Ms. Eaglen this July in Wagner Intensive are colleague Timothy Mussard, tenor and Nancy Maultsby, mezzo soprano along with conductors Eric Weimer and William Vendice.

for more on the Baldwin-Wallace Wagner Intensive:   
The WSNC Board of Directors unanimously voted to award a full scholarship based on need and merit for a singer to be chosen at the discretion of the directors of Wagner Intensive.  These funds come from the William O. Cord Memorial Grant Fund.  The Grant Fund was founded many years ago with the assistance of Kurt Herbert Adler and the Fund is supported entirely through descretionary contributions and not from dues.  It is the hope of the Wagner Intensive faculty that the program will continue and expand.  The Wagner Society Board is committed to giving assistance to this project in coming years and wishes the faculty and all participants much success.
This announcement was made at the Society’s General Meeting on April 16th and was received with a round of applause from those in attendance.
We will keep you posted on the progress of Wagner Intensive and the awardee.


Jane Eaglen’s letter of response to the Grant Committee and WSNC treasurer Terri Stuart:
Dear Terri,

Thank you so much for your email and the wonderful news. I will let everyone involved in the Wagner Intensive program know immediately and I know they will be thrilled. We are so excited about this program and the interest we have received and the singers who have applied indicate that this could really grow into something special.
We very much hope that you and some of your members will be able to attend some of the program.
Many thanks again and very best wishes,

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Parsifal — the Ballet
Who knew?  Enjoy.  Looks like Kundry gets her man this time around.


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Not Wagner related, but it looks interesting. This is in conjunction with “The Steins Collect” exhibit which runs at the SFMOMA through Sept 6th

The Poetry of Sound: Portraits by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein with New York Times Music Critic Anthony Tommasini and Bay Area Rainbow Symphony 

Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic for The New York Times and a Thomson scholar, performs a selection of works by composer Virgil Thomson, Gertrude Stein’s collaborator on Four Saints in Three Acts. Tommasini will also discuss how Thomson’s relatively simple music reflects and resonates with Stein’s hermetic writing. He is joined by members of Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS), who will perform some of Thomson’s “musical portraits” (composed on subjects who sat before him) and the music of Erik Satie, who was one of Thomson’s major influences. Stein’s literary portraits will also be read.ajor influences.  Daniel Canosa will conduct and Brian Thorsett will be the tenor soloist.  Stein’s literary portraits will also be read. 
Thursday, June 16, 7:00 to 8:30 PM 
Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street (between 3rd and 4th streets)
The CJM is located in SOMA across from Yerba Buena Gardens, one block from the MUNI/Bart Powell Station.
$10 member $20; includes Museum admission.
More info at 
415.655.7800 (Open daily 11 AM – 5 PM (closed Wed);  Thu 1 – 8 PM)  

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News of the lame….
Kansas Eliminates Arts Funding

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Thanks to all who submitted info to E-Notes. I hope I didn’t leave anything out. As ever, if you want to unsubscribe from this list, just send me a note at and you will be accommodated. And thanks to the well-wishers who have been concerned for my health. I’m doing pretty well, all things considered.
Trish Benedict – editor E-Notes