The Richard Wagner Society of New York is the largest Society in North America. For years it has offered U.S. Wagnerians opportunties “to learn, to teach, to share,” as its motto goes. Now it has established a site on YouTube that permits Wagnerians around the world to delight in some of its many offerings.
The site is a channel on which selections from various Society presentations have been posted. Among the first collection is a group of selections from the February 5, 2012, seminar on Götterdämmerung. The roundtable that I was privileged to moderate is captured in an extended section of comments by Met Siegfried Jay Hunter Morris, including his memorable explanation of the meaning of the phrase “Life Shows Up.” Another segment deals with Iain Paterson’s recollection of the rehearsal process for his memorable characterization of Gunther.
Wendy Bryn Harmer compares on the experience of singing Ortrude in the old Met Ring and Gutrune in the new one. And you will see Hilan Warshaw explaining the curious bridge between the Ring Cycle and the tradition of science fiction myth in films such as Avatar and The Empire Strikes Back.
The Wagner Society’s site also includes a tantalizing but far too brief segment from Jeffrey Swann’s 2011 lecture-recital, on the curious and inexhaustable topic of the relationship between Wagner and his father-in-law Franz Lizst.
This site promises to be a unique contribution to worldwide Wagneriana, and the Wagner Society of New York is to be commended for helping all of us “learn, teach and share” in this wonderful manner.