President's Report October 2001

Dear Members,

Since our last meeting we have enjoyed the recent Lohengrin performances. It was wonderful to hear Glen Winslade in such good voice after so many years and to welcome back Bernadette Cullen and John Wegner both of whom sang wonderfully. Lisa Harper-Brown sang her first Elsa well and acted the part very convincingly though many members found her voice a little 'thin' particularly in the second act. Those of us lucky enough to be at the final performance heard the role of Elsa sung by Nicole Youl and were delighted to hear a richer, fuller voice which we had missed earlier.

A few nights ago we also enjoyed the Wagner Concert given by the Ballet and Opera Orchestra conducted by Simone Young. Lisa Gasteen, Bernadette Cullen and Horst Hoffmann sang excerts from Tristan and Isolde and we realised how long it is since we have seen this opera. We congratulate everyone concerned. It was a great concert and we really enjoyed the encoreValkeries in full cry.

Many of us went to Adelaide for Parsifal and the consensus was that they were excellent performances. Musically and vocally they left nothing to be desired and if some had minor problems with some of the production details these did not detract from the overall pleasure of our first Australian Parsifal - we have waited a long time. We congratulate the State Opera of South Australia and all involved and are very proud to have been able to have played a small part in their success.

Sadly we record the death of Betty Maloney, one of our Foundation Members, who had fought a long battle against cancer. She was an inspiration to all who knew her and will be very sadly missed. Our deepest sympathy goes to her husband, Reg and sister, Jean Walker. A report on her Memorial service, by Terence Watson, will be found in this Newsletter.

I particularly want to thank all those Members who have made donations. These are the basis of the help we are able to offer to Opera Companies and Orchestras performing Wagnerian works and as we are always asking for more performances it is essential that we build up our donation account, particularly with a Ring Cycle to look forward to in 2004.

The support of all our members through the last few months has been very heartening and there is no doubt that our Society will survive despite our difficulties. I regret to report that there has been no recovery of the missing funds and the investigation is continuing.

I hope to see a large audience at our November meeting when Professor Bashir assisted by three other psychiatrists will examine the psychological profiles of a number of Ring characters. And of course our Christmas party in December when we will once again ask you to come and bring a plate.

Barbara McNulty 
October 2001