Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Wagner Society

The Wagner Society of Northern California
June 27, 2009 1:00

Professor Hans Vaget
Hoechtest Liebes-Lust: Tristan, Isolde and Ecstasy

Over the weekend I was at the monthly meeting of the Wagner Society of Northern California, which almost prankishly meets at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. About 50 or so earnest & venerable members were present. The meeting started with announcements about up-coming Ring cycles, performance-related parties & tickets for offer. I imagine that access to tickets, especially for Bayreuth, is the prime benefit of joining the society. But clearly the society also puts its money where its mouth is & issued a goal of raising five-thousand dollars to be donated to the San Francisco Opera specifically for the new Ring cycle. During the preliminary announcements I was a bit startled to be singled out by name as a guest at this event.

The featured speaker was Hans Vaget, Professor Emeritus of Smith College & an English-language lecturer at the Bayreuth Festival. He gave quite an academic talk on poetic aspects of the libretto of Tristan & Isolde. People seemed to listen studiously, though his lecture assumed an audience far beyond my own knowledge & interest. At one point in the Q & A the issue of Wagner's skin condition came under discussion. Certainly the Wagner Society crowd is not to be underestimated.


The Opera Tattler said...

Did you just call me venerable?

Axel Feldheim said...

Is the Opera Tattler not worthy of veneration?

The Opera Tattler said...

I'm quite certain she is not!