Wagner
Welcome
to
The Wagner Society of America

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Upcoming 2018 Events

Sunday, December 16TH, 2018
The Evanston, Glencoe, Northfield, Wilmette, Winnetka chapters of
The Lyric Opera of Chicago
and
The Wagner Society of America
invite you to our
Annual Holiday Luncheon Event
Jennifer Kosharsky
Jennifer Kosharsky, mezzo-soprano
Ariana Strahl
Ariana Strahl, soprano
with
Celeste Rue, piano

Mezzo Jennifer Kosharsky (top) has performed in operas, operettas, musicals and concerts. Recent roles: Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) and Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana).

Soprano Ariana Strahl (bottom) wowed critics in her opera roles as Blanche (Streetcar Named Desire) and brought 20 roles to the stage as a young artist at Komische Oper , Berlin.

Silent Auction 12 Noon (cash, check, or major credit card)
Luncheon 1:00 PM
Program follows

 HILTON ORRINGTON HOTEL
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston

Cost: $ 70.00 per person<

Make checks payable to
The Wagner Society of America

P.O. Box 514
Wilmette IL 60091

There will also be THE QUIZ with prizes for all and the CD Fire Sale will continue at $ 1.00 per CD.

Reservations required

Parking: FREE PARKING ON STREET OR IN LOTS AND IN GARAGES

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Saul Lilienstein
"Wagner, Mahler, and Mann"
Saul Lillienstein

A former student of Leonard Bernstein, Saul Lilienstein holds B.A. and M.S.degrees in music from Queens College, N.Y. He initially came to the attention of Maryland audiences as Director of The Handel Choir of Baltimore and the Harford Choral Society. Lilienstein was for many years Artistic Director and Conductor of Maryland’s Harford Opera Theatre and then of Operetta Renaissance in Baltimore, conducting and producing in all well over fifty operas.

A highly regarded Professor of Music, his is a familiar voice at the Smithsonian Institution, Johns Hopkins University in Rockville, at the Goethe Institut, for symphonic concerts at the Kennedy Center, opera lectures for Washington National Opera and recently at music symposiums in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Palm Beach. Lilienstein’s subjects range from the Origins of Opera to the Origins of Jazz, from Bach and Beethoven to Music of the Gypsies, from Immigrant Cultures to Music of The Beatles.

He has now completed over eight-five highly acclaimed Commentaries on CD for The Washington National Opera, analyzing the repertoire in the most extensive series of its kind in the English language. His essays on music have appeared in newspapers throughout the country ,in journals and anthologies.

PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS
Roosevelt University
Room 616
425 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL

Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

Cost: Members - $ 5.00
Guests - $ 10.00

This event is sponsored by The Wagner Society of America and the Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council

PLEASE NOTE: Guests and non-members wishing to attend need to reply to Bill Smith (847-256-1292)
no later than November 13th so that they may be admitted by the University's Building Security staff.

Upcoming 2019 Events

Sunday, February 3, 2019
Joint program with Evanston Chapter of Lyric Opera of Chicago

ANETTE ISAACS
“The Tainted Legacy of Richard Wagner”
Anette Isaacs

Program - 3:00 PM

Michigan Shores Club
911 Michigan Avenue
Wilmette, IL

Cost: Members - $ 15.00 Guests - $ 20.00

Questions: 847-251-4100
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

NINA STEMME
Stemme MetOpera Isolde, 2016
Nina Stemme as Isolde
Tristan and Isolde, 2016
Metropolitan Opera
Steme Nilsson Prize, 2016
Presentation of the Birgit Nilsson Prize to Nina Stemme

For years, Swedish born Nina Stemme has been considered a leading singer of the most challenging parts in major dramas:Isolde, Brünnhilde and Kundry, Salome and Elektra, Fanciulla and Turandot. That she initially shied away from these staggering heights of the soprano repertoire is a noteworthy – if not the defining – characteristic of her career. Mozart’s Cherubino is a far cry from Isolde and Turandot, a leap only few have mastered. Nina Stemme made the leap successfully by taking the time a development of this kind requires. When she was offered the part of Isolde, to be performed at the 2003 Glyndebourne Festival, she already had fourteen years of on-stage experience, having first taken lyrical parts such as Cherubino, Pamina, the “Figaro” Countess, Agathe and Eva, before moving on to increasingly lyrical-dramatic roles such as Mimi, Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Tosca, “Tannhäuser” Elisabeth, Marschallin and Senta.

Isolde would have been the next step, but it was not until she had conferred with Birgit Nilsson that she took the offer. To her surprise, the legendary Wagner singer offered to help her learn her part. Nonetheless, Nina Stemme felt she was not yet ready to sing Isolde. When she did take the stage as Isolde for the first time at Glyndeborne, her performance was met with enthusiasm and she subsequently made a record with Plácido Domingo singing as Tristan and Antonio Pappano as conductor. Even then, she remained cautious: “You are never ready with these gigantic roles”, she said in retrospect in her interview with the “New York Times”.

Respect for the roles and the operas, flexibility, diversity and a level-headed estimation of her voice’s potential – these were the factors that, alongside her voice itself, talent and musicality, made this highly talented singer an artist of global stature. In 1993, she was rewarded when she won Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition. Whether at the Metropolitan Opera New York, La Scala Milan, the Bayreuth Festival, the Vienna State Opera or the Royal Opera House in London – Nina Stemme has furthered the great tradition of Flagstad and Nilsson at leading opera houses.


Watch this site for time and cost

Questions: 847-251-4100

Previous 2018 Events

FRIDAY EVENING, October 19, 2018
JUDITH CABAUD
"Mathilde Wesendonck: Isolde's Dream"
Book Cover


Roosevelt University
Room 528
430 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

Cost: Members - $ 5.00
Guests - $ 10.00

This event is sponsored by The Wagner Society of America and the Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council

PLEASE NOTE: Guests and non-members wishing to attend need to reply to Bill Smith (847-256-1292)
no later than October 12th so that they may be admitted by the University's Building Security staff.

MONDAY EVENING, September 17, 2018
BETH ELLIOTT
"REDEMPTION THROUGH LOVE!"
An Irreverent Guide to Getting Wagnerian
Opera Thrills Without Being a Nut

Beth Elliott

Beth Elliott is the author of the satirical time-travel novel “Don’t Call It ‘Virtual’”, a former weekly columnist for the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter and book and record reviewer for Telewoman, and an independent recording artist. Something of a minor counterculture figure who has been written about in a small number of books, she has chased total solar eclipses around the world and written business materials and conference presentations for a commercial lunar sample retrieval mission start-up. She wrote “Redemption Through Love!” out of a belief that Wagner’s “music dramas” are too beautiful, thrilling, transformative and inspirational for people to feel intimidated to approach. Delving into the mythological, metaphysical and psychological underpinnings of Wagner’s art, she brings a lifetime of spiritual exploration (not to mention irreverence and deadly wit) to making the most written-about and controversial composer of all time accessible to people who are neither opera nor Wagner buffs


Roosevelt University
430 S. Michigan Avenue
Room 528
Chicago, IL

Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

Cost: Members - $ 5.00
Guests - $ 10.00

This event is sponsored by The Wagner Society of America and the Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council

PLEASE NOTE: Guests and non-members wishing to attend need to reply to Bill Smith (847-256-1292)
no later than September 12th so that they may be admitted by the University's Building Security staff.

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2018
WAGNER BIRTHDAY LUNCHEON AND PROGRAM
JIM HOLMAN

Photo courtesy of WETA

JAMES K. HOLMAN is Chairman of the D.C. Wagner Society, a well-known Wagner expert, AND an Evanstonian will present a lecture on Tannhäuser with a visual presentation much like his wonderful presentation this past year.

 ORRINGTON HOTEL
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL

Reception  1:00 PM
Buffet Luncheon  1:30 PM
Program  2:45 PM

WEDNESDAY EVENING, April 25, 2018
Soprano ARIANA STRAHL
with Kathleen Kelly, Piano
Ariana Strahl

Irish-American Soprano Ariana Strahl was born in Munich, Germany and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Ms. Strahl studied privately with Darlene Marks while in Fort Worth, before earning her Bachelor of Music from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2007. After completing her Degree, she moved to Vienna, Austria to study with Paulette Vineyard-Herbich. During her time at the Komische Oper, she continued her private studies with Gregory Lamar and Kammersängerin Deborah Polaski.

Ms. Strahl is based in the Bay Area and Chicago, and studies with soprano Ruth Ann Swenson. Ms. Strahl has most recently made her American debut as Blanche Dubois in Andre Previn's Streetcar named Desire with Opera San Jose, working with world-renowned director and 'Streetcar' specialist Brad Dalton. She was described in Opera Today as ‘a ringing soprano possessed of considerable beauty, assured technique, and consummate musicianship.’ She will perform Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs and works of Alma Mahler, Robert Schumann, and Richard Wagner.

Master Teacher Kathleen Kelly is the University of Michigan’s first Coach/Conductor of Opera at its School of Music, Theater, and Dance. From 2010–2013 at the Vienna State Opera, Kathleen oversaw the daily musical life of more the fifty ensemble singers in more than fifty operas. She has appeared nationally and internationally as a recital accompanist, notably at Vienna’s Musikverein, New York City’s Weill Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Besides Ms. Strahl, her partners have included Jamie Barton, Christine Goerke, Amber Wagner, Michael Kelly, Troy Cook, Jill Grove, Patrick Carfizzi, Albina Shagimuratova, and Valentina Nafornita. She has curated recital series at the Vienna State Opera and the Houston Grand Opera, and is co-artistic director of SongFusion. In Vienna, Kathleen was the musical assistant and recitative accompanist for new productions of Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro.


Roosevelt University
Ganz Hall
430 S Michigan
Chicago, IL

Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

This event is free of charge to all members as well as guests.

PLEASE NOTE: We must receive guest names by April 18.
Phone or email names to Bill Smith (847-256-1292 or wrtsco@att.net).

The CD Fire Sale will continue at $ 1.00 per CD.

Questions: 847-256-1292

THURSDAY EVENING, March 8, 2018
MATTHEW BRIBITZER-STULL
"Wagner's Legacy in the Leitmotivic Film Score"
Matt Bribitzer-Stull

Professor Matthew Bribitzer-Stull began as Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Minnesota in 2002. He is now Director of the University Honors Program and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. The author of Understanding the Leitmotif: From Wagner to Hollywood Film Music (Cambridge University Press 2015), Matt looks forward to continued engagement with Wagner’s music despite the demands of his administrative appointment.


Roosevelt University
Room 420
430 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

Cost: Members - $ 5.00 Guests - $ 10.00

TUESDAY EVENING, January 23, 2018
AMBER WAGNER
Amber
Photo Credit: Larry Lapidus

AMBER WAGNER will join us and give an update on her career. She is currently appearing at Lyric Opera of Chicago in the title role of Turandot. Amber has received rave reviews in both Chicago and in Vancouver for this new addition to her repertoire. She will be joined by soprano Janai Brugger (who sings Liu) in an informal discussion of their work, particularly their work as Wagnerian repertoire.


Hotel Allegro
Orpheum Room (3rd Floor)
171 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL

Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

Cost: Members - $ 5.00 Guests - $ 10.00

2017 Events

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
The Barrington, Evanston, Glencoe, Northfield, Wilmette & Winnetka Chapters
of
Lyric Opera of Chicago
and
The Wagner Society of America
invite you to our annual
Holiday Luncheon Event
Christine Brewer, Soprano
Craig Terry, piano


Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer’s appearances in opera, concert, and recital are marked by her 1own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Named one of the top 20 sopranos of all time (BBC Music), her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage and a highly sought-after recording artist, one who is “in her prime and sounding glorious” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times).

THURSDAY, November 16th, 2017
"Brünnhilde's Sisters"
Lyric Opera Walküre's "Flying Equestrians"



What could be more exciting than a group of young horsewomen who can sing Wagner and ride flying horses at the same time ? We could not think of anything to top this. Don’t miss three of this fleet of sopranos, mezzos, and contraltos: None other than the Valkyries from Lyric Opera of Chicago's current production of Die Walküre—including the Waltraute (soprano Catherine Martin, who was our guest artist last December), Siegrune (mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel), and Ortlinde (mezzo-soprano Laura Wilde).

(Our "CD Fire Sale" will continue at $ 1.00 per CD.)

Hotel Allegro
Orpheum Room (3rd Floor)
171 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL

Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

Cost: Members - $ 5.00 Guests - $ 10.00

THURSDAY, October 26th, 2017
David Pountney
Stage Director and
Artistic Director of Welsh National Opera

Photo source: Welsh National Opera

Lyric's Ring Cycle Director DAVID POUNTNEY. Since 2011 David has been the Artistic Director of the Welsh National Opera. He has held positions at the Scottish Opera, the English National Opera, and the Bregenz Festival. He has also written librettos and translated operas into English. He was made a CBE (England) as well as receiving high honorary designations in France and in Poland. We are delighted to present the director of this very innovative Ring.


Hotel Allegro
Orpheum Room (3rd Floor)
171 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL
Reception - 7:00 pm
Program - 7:30 pm

Sunday, July 23rd
Kyle van Schoonhoven, tenor
Laurann Gilley, piano
Kyle van Schoonhoven in Recital

 
Join Kyle van Schoonhoven, tenor, in celebrating his recent achievement as a 2017 Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Kyle will be offering a solo recital with pianist Laurann Gilley at Ganz Hall in Roosevelt University's Chicago Loop campus at 430 S. Michigan Ave. This event is sponsored by The Wagner Society of America and the Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council

3:00 pm
Roosevelt University
Ganz Hall
Chicago, IL

Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance via PayPal.

A few selections from Kyle's program

Opera selections include:

"Rienzi’s Prayer" from Wagner’s Rienzi
Lenski’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder

Plus music theatre selections:
"You’ll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel
"Anthem" from Chess
"Younger than Springtime" from South Pacific

A reception in the foyer will follow the performance

 
Sunday, May 21st
JAMES K. HOLMAN
Jim is Chairman of the D.C. Wagner Society, a Wagner author, and an Evanstonian.


Photo courtesy of WETA
 
JAMES K. HOLMAN, Chairman, Wagner Society of Washington, D.C. and well-known Wagnerian author, will present his lecture,  'Tristan and the Delights of Ambiguiy' Chairman Jim was recently interviewed by WETA's Marilyn Cooley on the subject of Wagner's Ring. Jim guided her--and her listeners--through the story and background of this major work of Western art. Click here to listen to the full interview!
 
 
 ORRINGTON HOTEL
1710 Orrington Avenue

Buffet Luncheon  1:30 PM
Program  2:45 PM


Cost: $ 45.00 per person<

Make checks payable to
The Wagner Society of America

P.O. Box 514
Wilmette IL 60091

There will also be THE QUIZ with prizes for all and the CD Fire Sale willcontinue at $ 1.00 per CD.

Reservations required

Parking: FREE PARKING ON STREET OR IN LOTS AND IN GARAGES

Sunday, April 30th
Professor KAREN PAINTER
Department of Music, University of Minnesota

Karen's presentation is entitled 'Wagner's Ring and German-American relations during the World Wars'. She spent 2015/16 at Harvard's Center for European Studies and was Director of the Office of Research and Analysis for the National Endow- ment for the Arts in 2005/06. She was a scholar in residence at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris in 2010 and recipient of a Humboldt fellowship and the Berlin Prize in 1999/2000.

 ORRINGTON HOTEL
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston
 
Reception 3:00 PM
Program 3:30 PM
 
Thursday, March 16
ASHLEY SIPKA, mezzo-soprano"
Ashley Sipka
 
Ashley is a recent graduate of DePaul University. She was a finalist this year in the Midwest Region/ Metropolitan Opera Auditions having advanced from the Illinois district. There are now 4 state districts feeding into the region. Kentucky has now joined Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. She came to our attention as a finalist in the Central Region of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions having advanced as an award winner in the Illinois District. Her repertoire includes the Dritte Dame, Orlovsky, Perichole, Beppe, Susuki, and Ernestina plus concert alto soloist in works of Brahms, Charpentier, Schumann, and Handel.
 
Her program will include works by Wagner (including Ortrude's Curse) and Gounod's Sapho (her winning performance of 'O ma lyre immortelle') among others.
 
PIANO FORTE
1335 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
 
7:00 PM Reception
7:30 PM Program
 

2016 Events

Sunday, December 4th
The Evanston, Glencoe, Northfield,
& Wilmette Chapters of Lyric Opera of Chicago and
The Wagner Society of America
invite you to our annual
Holiday Luncheon Event
Catherine Martin, Mezzo-Soprano
Catherine Martin

Hilton Orrington Hotel

1710 Orrington Avenue, Evanston

 

12 Noon, Silent Auction,

1 PM, Luncheon

 

ANETTE ISAACS, who gave us the wonderful program on King Ludwig, will be presenting a program on the Holocaust next Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016.

It will be at the Evanston Public Library (Church & Orrington) at 2:00 PM.
 
 CATHERINE MARTIN, mezzo-soprano, will be our guest singer for the annual holiday luncheon that we are doing jointly with 6 Lyric Opera Chapters.
That date is Sunday, Dec. 4th, 2016 at noon. Catherine will be in the cast of Les Troyens at Lyric Opera and is also covering the role of Didon to be sung by Sophie Koch. She will be returning to Lyric next season and likely will be our guest for a program.

Wednesday, November 30th

Colin Ure, Opera Specialist

Informal Q&A

Hotel Allegro
171 W. Randolph Street
Chicago
7:00 PM  Reception
7:30 PM  Program

Colin Ure was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and studied music, majoring in voice, at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Following graduation he performed as a professional, classical singer throughout the UK and further afield. In 1992 he became an artists' manager, working for several British agencies, where he advised, developed and structured the careers of young singers, worldwide.  In 2005 he was appointed as Dramaturg for Houston Grand Opera, where he lectured, wrote articles about opera, and prepared supertitle translations.  Colin now lives in Chicago, working as a free-lance dramaturg. Currently, he is writing and presenting The Ryan Opera Center Recital Series for WFMT Chicago 98.7. For the Chicago Humanities Festival he has interviewed Renee FlemingJessye Norman, Ana Maria Martinez, Jimmy Lopez and Nilo Cruz. For Lyric Opera of Chicago, he has given pre-performance lectures, written and recorded podcasts and prepared supertitle translations


Sunday, October 23
Anette Isaacs, Historian

Wagner and Ludwig

German historian, ANETTE ISAACS, will present 'MAD' KING LUDWIG OF BAVARIA: INSIDE THE LIFE AND MIND OF GERMANY'S FAIRYTALE KING. This past March Anette gave us a fascinating presentation on Ludwig and Wagner. For those of you who attended that lecture there is only 20 to 25 % overlap.  For the rest of you don't miss her!
Orrington Hotel - John Evans Roomj
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston

Times: 3:00 pm Reception 3:30 pm Program
Cost: FREE (Refreshments available in hotel) Reservations not required

Parking: Free in lots and metered spaces on Sundays. Valet parking is available.

Sunday, May 22nd

 Wagner Birthday Luncheon and Program

featuring

Margaret Jane Wray, Soprano
Laurann Gilley, Piano

Margaret Jane Wray
Michigan Shores Club
911 Michigan Avenue
Wilmette, IL
847-251-4100
 
12:00 Noon Reception
1:00 PM Program
2:00 PM Luncheon

 
MARGARET JANE WRAY, soprano. Margaret will be sharing with us some of her immense Wagner repertory. She was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in 1985. In 1989 she won the Richard Tucker Foundation award. Her Wagnerian roles include Elisabeth, Elsa, Eva, Gutrune, Ortrud, Sieglinde, Senta, and the Third Norn as well as Adriano in Rienzi. She has performed at many of the great opera houses and symphonies around the world. Last fall she was one of the judges for the Illinois District of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and did a master class the following day. 
 
Pianist Laurann Gilley, a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago staff, will accompany Margaret.  She is also an accompanist for the Illinois District and Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
 
 
Wednesday, April 27

Christian Ketter, Tenor
Pedro Yanez, Piano

Christian Ketter

Pianoforte
1335 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago

7:00 PM  Reception
7:30 PM  Program

Parking: Parking Lot directly across (west side of street) from Pianoforte

Tenor Christian Ketter, made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2014, as featured in the Washington Post, as part of 'The Song Continues' with American Mezzo-Soprano Marilyn Horne. The 2013 winner of the Friedrich Schorr American Prize in Voice, Mr. Ketter has appeared as the tenor soloist with the Chicago Bar Symphony Orchestra & Chorus- in Bruckner's Te Deum, making his Symphony Center debut with the orchestra again in 2015 at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. Mr. Ketter's debut classical recording 'Beloved' - features all original arrangements of song literature, spanning a broad array of languages and styles, available online at iTunes and Amazon.
 
A frequent recitalist, Mr. Ketter was invited to Northwestern University of Louisiana to give a solo recital and lecture in 2014. As the 2013 Chicago Oratorio Winner, his past performances included tenor soloist in oratorios, both DuBois' Les sept paroles du Christ and Saint-SaÄ�Ä«ns' Oratorio de NoÄ�Ä«l. Recent stage performances include: Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra & Chorus under the baton of conductor Kirk Muspratt and Willy Loman in Rizzer's operatic adaptation of Death of a Salesman finale at the Chicago Cultural Center.
 
In 2011, Mr. Ketter was privileged to be musically coached and staged by American composer Carlisle Floyd in a concert celebrating his operatic works. A 2013 International Finalist in the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya Competition, he reprised the role of "Che" in Andrew Lloyd Webber'sEvita with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra; Mario Cavaradossi in scenes from Puccini's Tosca with the Calumet City Chamber Ensemble; Radames' Celeste Aida from Verdi's Aida in a gala with Music by the Lake; a televised concert: "The Music of Bernard Hermann & Nino Rota"- this marked the Chicago-Premiere of Herrmann's Wuthering Heights, singing the role of Edgar Linton; Gaylord Ravenal in Jerome Kern's ShowBoat. In 2010, at Ravinia Mr. Ketter gave a benefit recital on behalf of the Misericordia Foundation; 2007, he performed at Walt Disney World in a series of concerts with Sherill Milnes' VOICExperience. Recent television appearances include WGN; ABC's 190 North; and ESPN as a frequent opening ceremony soloist for The UIC Flames and Northwestern Wildcats.

2015 American Prize Winner in Art Song; 2nd National Winner- HalLeonard Art Song Competition, 2nd National Winner HalLeonard Musical Theatre Competition. 2012: National Winner of the Friedrich Schorr American Prize in Opera; National Grand Prize Winner of the Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarships in Voice; American Prize Winner in Art Song; National Finalist in the Shreveport Opera Competition; Harold Haugh finalist-young artist award.

Pianist Pedro Yanez is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Staff. 

2015 Events

Wednesday, January 28th

Karl E. H. Seigfried

Karl

Between Venus and the Virgin:
Music and Myth in Wagner's "Tannhäuser"

A Lecture on Tannhäuser's Musical Subtleties and Mythic Sources

Tann

RW1851Photo
Wagner in Paris for the 1861 Tannhäuser performances
 

This guided tour through Wagner's Tannhäuser views the opera through several lenses and from multiple perspectives. Methodology from musicology and mythography intersect with literary, historical, psychological and philosophical approaches. Wagner himself used manifold methods when discussing his own work, and there are correspondences between his written theories and his musical output that often go unnoticed by today's operagoers. However, Wagner was not the most transparent of poets, and his various philosophies don't always smoothly sync with one another. This necessarily leads to conflicting concepts and mixed messages. At the very least, this presentation will hopefully convince you what the opera is not about: Catholic conceptions of sin and salvation.

This lecture will feature a close reading of selected musical excerpts and passages from the libretto. There will be in-depth discussion of Wagner's own statements about the work, of his literary and mythological sources, and of his responses to reviews of the opera. We will trace the Tannhäuser legend and examine the correspondences between Wagner's poetry and that of the historical Minnesinger who inspired it. Connections will also be drawn to Wagner's other works, particularly Der Ring des Nibelungen.

For those especially interested in Norse mythology, we'll also discuss Freyja, Holda, Wotan, the Wild Hunt, Jacob Grimm's Teutonic Mythology and Wagner's stated "enthusiasm for the genuine heathen legends."

 
Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown, Chicago
733 W. Madison St.
 
7:00 PM  Reception
7:30 PM  Program
 

Monday, February 16

Amber Wagner and Gerald Finley

Amber
(Photo Credit: Larry Lapidus) (Photo Credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke)

A conversation with our Elizabeth and Wolfram
in the Lyric production of Wagner's Tannhäuser

Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown, Chicago
733 W. Madison St.
 

We are delighted that both Wolfram (GERALD FINLEY) and Elisabeth (AMBER WAGNER) from the Tannhäuser cast will join us for an informal discussion about their work and about Tannhäuser in particular. Bill Shackelford will moderate the discussion. Please come prepared with questions for Bill to start with.

 
Wednesday, March 9

Anette Isaacs, Historian

Wagner and Ludwig

Hotel Allegro
171 W. Randolph Street
Chicago

7:00 PM  Reception
7:30  Program

Parking: Lowest price is just south on Wells Street, east side of street.

Cost: $ 5.00 members $ 10.00 guests. Reservations not required

The storied relationship between the brilliant and controversial composer Richard Wagner and his devoted patron, the extravagant, tragic 'and mad' King Ludwig of Bavaria is legendary. Join German Historian Anette Isaacs and delve into a most interesting friendship that was defined by music, money, and a deep affection between two exceptional German cultural icons!

Wednesday, April 15th

Peter Bassett, Author and Dramaturg

Wagner's Die Meistersinger and Lortzing's Hans Sachs

Peter Bassett

Wagner's Die Meistersinger and Lortzing's Hans Sachs

Hotel Allegro
171 W. Randolph Street
Chicago
7:00 PM  Reception

7:30 PM  Program
 
In recent decades, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg has been the subject of controversial claims and notorious flights of directorial fancy. So what is it really about? A single lecture could hardly do justice to that question, but Peter Bassett believes there is one frequently overlooked matter that throws light on Wagner's intentions. It is the link between Die Meistersinger and dramatic works about Hans Sachs which were popular in 1845 when Wagner conceived his plan for 'an opera in a lighter genre' and wrote his lengthy prose sketch. Prominent amongst those works was Albert Lortzing's comic opera Hans Sachs, first performed in 1840, the play on which it was based and a Singspiel called Hans Sachs in later life of 1831. It is a fascinating story.
      
PETER BASSETT is an Australian author and speaker with a particular interest in the works of Richard Wagner. He has published books on the RingTristan und IsoldeParsifal and Wagner & Verdi, and his four CD set Der Ring des Nibelungen ' Explorations, was released by Decca in 2013. He was closely involved with productions of the Adelaide Rings of 1998 and 2004 (for the latter as Dramaturg, Artistic Administrator and lecturer), and Parsifal of 2001, and has led more than thirty international opera tours. In a former life he was an Australian diplomat and served in East and West Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and was Chief of Staff to two Governors of South Australia. He is Vice-President of the Richard Wagner Society in Queensland and an Honorary Member of the Finnish Wagner Society.
 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wagner Birthday Dinner and Program

with Special Musical Guests
Joanna Porackova, mezzo-soprano
JoannaPorackova
with Celeste Rue, piano
 
Michigan Shores Club
911 Michigan Avenue
Wilmette, IL
847-251-4100
 
5:00 PM Reception
5:30 PM Program
6:15 PM DINNER (Please specify any dietary restrictions in advance)
AND perhaps: THE QUIZ & PRIZES!!!!
 

Program: We are pleased to have Joanna coming in from Boston for this program. She has done dramatic soprano roles and is now moving into the mezzo-soprano roles. We will hear some of both. Celeste will accompany her and also play a couple of piano works. We first knew Joanna through attending some of her performances and then had the chance to meet her in September, 2013 at a meeting of the Boston Wagner Society. You can find her on YouTube.

Joanna Porackova has been celebrated for her 'soaring majesty' (Opera News) and 'huge vocal and emotional range'in both the mezzo soprano and soprano dramatic repertoire. She was hailed by the Boston Globe 2010 as a 'powerful soprano with a heartfelt, involving sense of the music's inner drama (singing Brünnhilde), in Wagner's 'Immolation Scene'. In 2010 the Boston Musical Intelligencer praised her for 'using her impressive instrument to full dramatic effect' for the mezzo soprano solo in Verdi's REQUIEM with the Masterworks Chorale. Her 'warm smooth voice rang out over Wagner's heavy orchestral textureĢ�Ħ clearly at home in the role of Brünnhilde', singing 'Immolation Scene' with the Longwood Symphony directed by Jonathan Mcphee. The New York Sun, in reviews of DIE WALKÜRE in the 2008 Easter Salzburg Festival with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle singled her out as 'foremost of the Valkyries' she was girlish and fantastic'. The New York Times praised her for singing with 'great fervor and skill' as Magda Sorel in THE CONSUL directed by the composer himself Gian Carlo Menotti at the Washington National Opera, and for 'transmitting the character's obsessive passion and warmth' as Senta at Katharina Wagner's directorial debut of DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER
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In 2005 she sang Isolde in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE with the Grand Theatre de Tours, France, under the direction of Jean Yves Ossonce. The Neue Züricher Zeitung acclaimed her for her 'technical mastery' in the complex title role in the world premiere of Rolf Liebermann's MEDEA at the Stadtheater in Bern under the direction of Daniel Klajner. James Conlon later engaged her for the same role with the Paris Opera Bastille. She made her Alice Tully Hall debut (Lincoln Center) singing Anaide to Jerome Hines' MOSE IN EGITTO the NY Times hailed her for 'the most stageworthy..soprano blossomed.'
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She has been engaged with the Aix en Provence, Salzburg, and Opera North (Canada) Festivals, Paris Opera Bastille, Grand Theatre de Tours, Klagenfurt, Würzburg, Bern, Stralsund, Hong Kong, Boston Lyric, Opera Boston, Seattle, Connecticut, Anchorage, Boston Bel Canto opera companies. She has performed the title roles of NORMA, TOSCA, AIDA, MEDEA, TURANDOT, DALILA, CARMEN, SALOME, ISOLDE,and LA WALLY as well as the Komponist, Amneris, Brünnhilde, Sieglinde, and Santuzza, to name a few. Her concert repertoire includes Wagner's WESENDONCK LIEDER, Strauss's VIER LETZTE LIEDER, the mezzo and soprano roles in the Verdi REQUIEM, and the Mahler 2nd Symphony, alto solo in Mozart REQUIEM, Bach B Minor Mass. In 2011 she sang the alto solo in Beethoven 9th with the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra, Boston,MA.
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Her voice has been heard on Swiss National Radio, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WGBH, BBC, WBUR, and ARTE and she appears on the DVD of DIE WALKÜRE with the Berliner Philharmoniker on the Bel Air Classiques label released in 2009 and as the sole musician on the BBC special 'The Estate.'
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She has performed recitals at the Paris Conservatory, Gerlesborgsskolan, Sweden, and the prestigious Beaulieu Abbey (UK), Boston and New York Wagner Society recital series. She has released a CD of Rachmaninoff and Medtner songs on the Americus Record label in their Russian Master Series with the acclaimed pianist Dag Achatz. She performed Kundry PARSIFAL in concert with Boston Wagner Society 2011, and Gerhilde in a concert of DIE WALKÜRE with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2012.

Program:

  • 'Die Mainacht' Op. 43, No.2 Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
  • 'In the silent night' Op.4, No,3 by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
  • 'Songs my mother taught me' `Op. 55, No.4 by Antonin Dvorak (1873-1904)
  • "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saens (1875-1921)
  • Piano Selection
PLUS: In honor of Wagner's BirthdayĢ�Ħ
three hochdramatische Ladies of THE RING
  • "Weiche, Wotan!" (Erda) from Das Rheingold
  • "Wo in Bergen du dich birgst" (Fricka) from Die Walküre
  • Piano Selection
  • "War es so schmählich' (excerpt) (Brünnhilde) from Die Walküre
  • "Starke Scheite" (excerpt) (Brünnhilde) from Götterdämmerung

Thursday, October 8th

Francesca Zambello, Artistic Director of the Washington National Opera

Francesca

Francesca Francesca

Hotel Allegro

171 W. Randolph Street
Chicago

7:00 PM  Reception
7:30 PM  Program

Parking: Lowest price is just south on Wells Street, east side of street.

 

FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO, Artistic Director of the Washington National Opera. Francesca will present her production of Wagner's Ring Cycle to be performed next May in Washington, D.C. She will include audio/visual segments of the production. We are delighted to have this acclaimed artist visit us for the first time.

Wednesday, November 18

A conversation with renowned Wagnerian bass-baritone
Tomasz Konieczny
currently appearing in the title role in Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of Alban Berg's Wozzeck

 

KoniecznyGrouping

Hotel Allegro
171 W. Randolph Street
Chicago

7:00 PM  Reception
7:30 PM  Program
Parking: Lowest price is just south on Wells Street, east side of street.
 
With his sensational success as ALBERICH at the Vienna State Opera and now also as Jochanaan and Wotan/Wanderer Tomasz Konieczny has established himself at the forefront of outstanding dramatic Bass-Baritones of his generation. Besides ALBERICH and WOTAN in the Ring, Vienna has invited him to sing MANDRYKA, JACK RANCE, AMFORTAS, HOLLÄNDER, SCARPIA, CARDILLAC and PIZARRO. Among his future plans he has guest contracts to sing with the Salzburger Festspiele, Bayerischer Staatsoper München, Symphoniorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Opera Bastille.

Tomasz Konieczny was born in 1972 in Lodz/Poland, where he first studied acting at the Film, TV and Theatre Academy. He made his debut in a film directed by Oscar prize winning director Andrzej Wajda The Ring with the Eagle, following which he worked as actor / director in many TV Film and Theatre productions in Poland. It was at that time that he began his vocal studies at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy in Warsaw, after which he went to Dresden where he joined the class of Prof. Christian ElÄner at the Hochschule für Musik. In 1998 he won the 33rd Dvorak International Vocal Competition in Carlsbad.

In 1997 he made his debut singing FIGARO in Le nozze di Figaro at the Poznan Opera in Poland, followed by engagements in places such as Leipzig, St. Gallen, Chemnitz and Mannheim. In 2002 he joined the ensemble of the National Theater Mannheim where he sang many roles included OREST, PIMEN, KING MARKE, AMFORTAS, WOTAN, PIZARRO, JOCHANAAN and the GRAN' INQUISITORE in Don Carlo. In 2004 Mannheim bestowed upon him the Arnold-Petersen-Award, a special prize for outstanding young talents.

2006 - 2014 Tomasz Konieczny was a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg where he could add to his repertoire some important leading roles like WOTAN, OSMIN, GOLAUD in Pelleas et MÄ�Ä©lisande, KURWENAL, HOLLÄNDER, BARAK, BALSTRODE in Peter Grimes SELIM in Il Turco in Italia FALSTAFF and ESCAMILLIO.

He has been a regular guest at the Opera Festial "WAGNER IN BUDAPEST", Where he sang under the baton of Adam Fischer AMFORTAS in 2006, WOTAN in Die Walküre in 2007 as well as in 2009, WANDERER in 2010 and KURWENAL in 2010 and 2011. In 2008 he made his debut at the Semperoper Dresden where he sang a highly-acclaimed ALBERICH in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried under Peter Schneider. In the same year he appeared for the first time at the Teatro Real Madrid where he sang DR KOLENATY in Janacek's Case Macropoulos.

In 2010 he made his debut with a sensational success as ALBERICH at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In 2011 he sang AMFORTAS at National Theater of Prague (Narodni Divadlo). It was a great personal sucsess of Konieczny. In 2011 he made also his debut as BITEROLF in Tann&‌auml;user at Opera National de Paris in 2012 as PIZARRO with NSO Washington and at the Bayerische Staatsoper München. The big sucsess was his debut at the Salzburger Festspiele (summer 2012) as STOLZIUS in Soldaten of Zimmermann. 2013 he sings two important CD - Productions of Ring des Nibelungen: as Wotan - the conductor is Marek Janowski (Pentatone Classics) and as Alberich - the conductor was Christian Thielemann (Deutsche Grammophon). 2014 he made his very saccesfully debut at the Carnegie Hall as JOCHANAAN in Salome and goes back as COMMENDATORE to Salzburger Festspiele.

At the Vienna State Opera he still sings since 2009: JACK RANCE, ALBERICH and WOTAN, AMFORTAS, HOLLÄNDER, SCARPIA, MANDRYKA, JOCHANAAN. He performs for the Viennese public with consistent and requited love.

Tomasz Konieczny is also in great demand for concerts where the colour of his voice and his stage presence make for a special combination. Among his upcoming engagements are concerts with the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic in Prague, and with the BBC London. His repertoire includes Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, the Weihnachtsoratorium, Handel's Messiah and Mendessohn's Elijah, Mozart's, Verdi's and Dvorak's Requiem, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Penderecki's Kosmogonia, Lukaspassion, Seven Gates of Jerusalem and the Messa da Requiem by Maciejewski.

Sunday, November 29

26th Annual Holiday Luncheon
& Silent Auction

with Special Musical Guests
David Cangelosi, Tenor
Eric Weimer, Piano
CangelosiGrouping

Michigan Shores Club
911 Michigan Avenue
Wilmette, IL
847-251-4100

12:00 PM Silent Auction

1:00 PM Luncheon and Program


With over 30 years in professional show-business, David Cangelosi is known industry wide as one of its most versatile performers. The internationally acclaimed opera singer is also well versed in the areas of musical-theater, night club/cabaret, voice-overs, and his continuing career in the classical vocal arts as a recitalist, master-class instructor, and symphonic guest artist.

In addition; as the Artistic Director of the Vann Vocal Institute in Montgomery, Alabama, he enjoys a consultancy with the Montgomery Symphony, books their celebrity recital series, and is working to develop the Montgomery Music Festival along with his duties as the Institute's director. Each year he brings the nation's finest coaches, teachers, administrators, and stage directors to Montgomery for extended developmental work with young aspiring vocalists in the South.

His very active on-stage career continues with performances and associations with the leading opera houses and symphony orchestras of the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington Opera, San Francisco Opera, Paris Opera, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Cincinnati Symphony, and others. For a more in-depth look, and for up-to-date information and postings, you are most heartily invited to browse the new DavidCangelosi.com.

Eric Weimer has established himself as one of the pre-eminent coach/Assistant Conductors in the international opera world. Through his work at some of the world's leading companies'in particular, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Bayreuth Festival, but also the San Francisco Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra'he has prepared some 150 productions, collaborating with most of the world's greatest opera maestri: James Levine, Sir Andrew Davis, Bruno Bartoletti, Donald Runnicles, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Moest, Antonio Pappano, James Conlon, Christoph Eschenbach, Christian Thielemann, and Georg Solti. In this work, he has coached and worked closely with virtually all the major singers active on the international opera stage. While famous as a German specialist'he has prepared no less than twelve complete cycles of Wagners's Der Ring des Nibelungen'he is known also for the breadth of his experience with other repertoires, particularly the Baroque and the Italian. A fluent speaker of German and Italian, he has prepared most of the German and Italian repertoire that Lyric Opera of Chicago has presented in the past 24 years.

A former musicologist, Eric Weimer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is the author of Opera seria and the Evolution of Classical Style'he is also in great demand as a coach of young singers. He joined the music staff of the Ryan Opera Center (training wing of Lyric Opera of Chicago) in 1992.