Posted October 18, 2014

Posted October 18, 2014

This one comes from WSNC member Yoko Arthur in Santa Fe. Yoko also formed a “virtual” Wagner Society in the Southwest which you can investigate on their Facebook Page:

Hello!  I hope you will try your hand at writing verse and enter this contest.  And, if writing to already-existing music turns out too difficult, you can be revolutionary, like Wagner was, and ignore conventions and chart a new course in song-writing!  Looking forward to receiving your entry.  

The Wagner Society of Santa Fe hosts

“Write Your Own Prize Song” Online Contest

In Celebration of Richard Wagner’s Art and 2014 National Opera Week

Any time spent with Meistersinger is time well spent”

                                                                                                    — Tenor Robert Dean Smith

      2014 contest judge and acclaimed Walther von Stolzing    

      on stage in Bayreuth, Barcelona, Berlin, Dresden,

      London, Munich, San Francisco, and Zürich



WHAT:   “Write Your Own Prize Song” Contest

HOW:     Write a new verse in English to Walther’s Prize Song in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger

WHEN:   Submit entries by email to the Wagner Society of Santa Fe between Oct. 24 – Nov. 7

JURY:    Six internationally recognized Wagner singers, director, conductor, teacher, supporter

PRIZE:   Public performance of the winner’s verse on December 6, 2014, in Santa Fe



For more information, contact Yoko Arthur



October 17, 2014, Santa Fe, NM  — The Wagner Society of Santa Fe announces the second annual online contest open to everyone.  This year’s contest theme is Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.  Your challenge is to write an original verse in English, not a new English translation of Wagner’s libretto, to be sung to Walther’s “Prize Song” music as it appears in Act III of Die Meistersinger.  The contest winner’s work will receive a public performance on December 6 in Santa Fe.


While this year’s contest imposes no word count limit, nine to eleven lines of poetic verse should fill out the 23 measures (bars) of beautiful notes that Richard Wagner composed for princely Walther von Stolzing to win fair Eva.  There are also no limits to the subject matter.


The “Write Your Own Prize Song” contest submission period will start Friday, October 24, coinciding with the start of the National Opera Week, and will end on Friday, November 7.  All poets, opera librettists, and song writers, whether aspiring, practicing, or dormant, as well as romantics at heart of Wagnerian persuasion are encouraged to submit their creations in English, just one verse only, by email to  Multiple submissions by the same applicant will be accepted.


The Wagner Society of Santa Fe will post on the Society’s Facebook page, all entries received within the contest period, without revealing contestants’ names.  Please search on Facebook under “Wagner Society of Santa Fe.”  Facebook users may vote their choices by November 30 by clicking “Like.”  The entry that receives the highest number of “Likes” will be recognized as the “Audience’s Favorite.”


As in the last year’s contest, an international panel of distinguished judges has been assembled.  They are:  Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Paul Curran, Edgar Foster Daniels, Joseph Illick, Helen Lawson, and Robert Dean Smith – see their short bios below.  Without knowledge of contestants’ identities, the judges will review all entries and rank them according to their originality and “singability.”  The highest ranked entry will become the winner of the “Write Your Own Prize Song” contest.


The contest winner will be announced in Santa Fe on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at a Meistersinger party at the Quail Run Clubhouse hosted by the Wagner Society of Santa Fe in collaboration with Performance Santa Fe.  The party is immediately followed by Performance Santa Fe’s Notes on Music Meistersinger Sing-Along led by Maestro Illick at the United Church of Santa Fe.  Tickets to the party ($55) and the Notes on Music Sing-Along ($25) are now on sale from Performance Santa Fe at (505) 984-8759 and online


The prize for the winner is a public performance at the Meistersinger party of the winning piece by tenor Nicholas Simpson, recently heard in Silent Night at Fort Worth Opera, accompanied by the contest judge Joseph Illick at the piano.  The Wagner Society of Santa Fe expects to record and upload the performance to YouTube.


This year’s contest judges are:

  • Soprano Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet whose Wagnerian repertoire includes Brünnhilde, Isolde, Kundry, Ortrud, Senta, and Venus in Athens, Dallas, Frankfurt, Geneva, Salzburg, Strasbourg, and Toulouse.  Her burnished soprano has also been heard in other roles in major opera houses in Barcelona, Brussels, Madrid, London, and Paris.  She will next perform the title role in Dukas’ Ariane et Barbe-Bleue in a new production by Olivier Py with Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, a role which she has recorded in Barcelona.
  • Scottish stage director Paul Curran whose dynamic and incisive productions encompass a vast repertoire from early music to modern opera.  His Wagner opera credits includeDer fliegende Holländer, Götterdämmerung, Tannhäuser, and Tristan und Isolde.  He has directed operas all over Europe and in Japan.  He was Artistic Director of the Norwegian National Opera 2007 – 2011.  He will next debut at the Metropolitan Opera in February 2015 with Rossini’s La donna del lago, a co-production with the Santa Fe Opera.
  • Philanthropist Edgar Foster Daniels who has supported Wagner and other opera productions at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and others.  This year Edgar was recognized for his 40 plus years of charitable activities by the International Opera Award in the Philanthropist/Supporter category.  He first attended the Bayreuth Festival in 1953 – 54.
  • Conductor, pianist, and opera composer Joseph Illick who is the Artistic Director of Performance Santa Fe and Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Fort Worth Opera. He is also a consummate teacher, and his future engagements include a series of master-classes in London at the Royal College of Music, his alma mater, in February.
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland faculty member Helen Lawson who teaches vocal technique as well as German Repertoire to aspiring young opera singers.  She sang as soloist in Germany and the UK – Senta was amongst her roles – and taught at the Universities of Bayreuth and Bamberg while she was a member of the Bayreuth Festival Chorus.  Helen is also a graphic artist with the Glasgow Print Studio, now working on a series of etchings titled “Four Dancing Rings” after Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.
  • Tenor Robert Dean Smith who is an acclaimed Walther von Stolzing in Bayreuth and on other major European stages.  Originally from Kansas, he has a sterling career in Europe singing Wagner and Strauss repertoire and much more in Berlin, Dresden, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, and Vienna.  His Tristan with the Metropolitan Opera was broadcast world-wide.  He is currently singing Tannhäuser in Vienna.


For a quick review of Walther’s Prize Song from Act III of Die Meistersinger, try the first two pages of:


The “Write Your Own Prize Song” contest rules are:

  • Submissions must be in English, suitable for posting on Facebook.  Please include your full name and address.
  • No email attachments will be opened.  Please write your verse directly in the text of your message and email to during the contest period ofOctober 24 and November 7, 2014.
  • Submitted verses will become the property of the Wagner Society of Santa Fe.


By participating in the contest, you agree to the contest rules stated above and the following terms:

  1. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.  The participants are providing information to the Wagner Society of Santa Fe and not to Facebook.
  2. The decisions of the judges are final.
  3. The decision of the Wagner Society of Santa Fe in choosing a winner is final.
  4. All participants in this contest agree to indemnify, release, and hold harmless Facebook, Performance Santa Fe, the Wagner Society of Santa Fe, and all their associates, officers, representatives (including volunteers), and selection judges from any liability, damages, losses or injury resulting from the participants’ participation in this contest and the acceptance, use or misuse of any prize offered hereunder.
  5. No prize will be awarded if unforeseen circumstances prevent public performance of the winning entry on December 6, 2014, or on an alternate date.




The Wagner Society of Santa Fe


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