The Wagner Society is one of five such societies in Australia, all of which are member societies of the Richard Wagner Verband International (the International Association of Wagner Societies, which is commonly abbreviated as the RWVI or “The Verband”). The Association unites regional Wagner associations or societies around the world and currently has 131 member societies. Its purpose is to create interest in and deepen the understanding of Richard Wagner's works, to provide support for the next generation of artists, to support the Richard Wagner Scholarship Foundation founded at the behest of Richard Wagner, to work to ensure the continuing success of the Bayreuth Festival, and to promote international co-operation. The President is Horst Eggers, who is based in Bayreuth, and who sent a message of congratulations to our Society on the occasion of our 30th anniversary in 2016. The RWVI holds an annual Wagner Congress. John Meyer will represent the Society at this year’s Congress in Budapest, Hungary, from 7th-10th June, 2017.
As a member society of the Richard Wagner Verband International, our Society is allocated tickets for the annual Bayreuth Festival. These tickets are allocated in proportion to the membership size of each society. Being a small society, for 2017 we were allocated only two sets of tickets for performances of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tristan und Isolde, Der Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal. For 2017 the Festival also directly offered the Society four additional sets of tickets for Der Ring des Nibelungen, but it is not expected that these additional tickets would be available each year. Members of the Society are given preference when such tickets become available. We are pleased to say that all tickets offered to us have been allocated.
Kate Milligan was awarded the Wagner Society’s Scholarship for 2016 which enabled her to attend performances of Der Ring des Nibelungen in Melbourne at the end of November last year.
Kate is currently in the fourth year of composition studies in the School of Music at The University of Western Australia. She is also an accomplished violinist and is a regular member of the Western Australian Youth Orchestra and The University of Western Australia Symphony Orchestra.
While in Melbourne, courtesy of The Wagner Society (Victoria), Kate was able to attend the introductory presentations on The Ring given by Heath Lees, and to be present at a workshop conducted by Simone Young with the Australian National Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. It was at our Society’s 30th Anniversary Gala in July last year that Kate was presented with her scholarship by Simone Young, the Wagner Society’s Patron.
Kate attended the Society’s AGM on 19 April and delivered a report on her experience at the Melbourne Ring. An abridged version can be read here.
The Festspielehaus at Bayreuth
Kate Milligan and John Meyer at Opera Australia’s production of the Ring. State Theatre Centre, Melbourne. December 2017