[National Wagner Society]

The Oxford Wagner Society

The word ‘genius’ is used far too liberally, but there are few cases, such as that of William Shakespeare, where it is hard to argue. Richard Wagner is another of such — a man who took the art form of opera to a whole new level. As his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria noted, the 19th century was fortunate to have hosted him. Wagner’s genius needs no explanation from me, but what I can do is to assist the process of sharing insights and musical experiences with students and staff at Oxford’s Universities, or those who, like myself, just happen to live in the area.

Note that the University itself no longer has an active Wagner society, and having failed to get critical mass in meetings I tried to organise early in 2015, it has been a low priority for me since. However I do not want to give up quite yet.

If I organize something, I will post details here, along with events organised by others in the area that might be of interest. If you want to be on my e-mailing list then contact me at c6goakley9@virgin4medi7a.com (NB: delete all the numbers).

25, 27, 29 & 31 January 2021 and
5, 6, 8 & 10 February 2021
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.Not a local event, and one that has been postponed thanks to Covid, but we can expect it to happen eventually.
Two complete performances of the Ring of the Nibelungen, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Not quite as Wagner intended, as the orchestra is very much visible, and there are no sets. The singers however act and sing from memory and there is a huge screen behind upon which appropriate images are projected. The individual operas have already been performed separately by the same cast, to good reviews.

Chris Oakley, 3 February 2021