AWP News: Jennifer Wilson in Bayreuth!

John Edward Niles, WSWDC Director and Director of the American Wagner Project (formerly the Emerging Singers Program) sent us this news item about ESP alumna Jennifer Wilson:

I am glad to report that Jennifer is safely ensconsed at Bayreuth with a very lovely apartment in a nice neighborhood (are they any bad neighborhoods in Bayreuth?) and--according to her--a very nice landlady.

Officially she is just covering this summer, but then, who knows?

Next year she is singing Sieglinde.

Of course, someone might get sick or walk out or ... whatever.

In any case, she is there and will be until September and then here in VA for a few weeks and then the Met.

At last stuff is starting to happen for that girl. It's about time!



The Final Toast

Longtime WSWDC Member Donald Crosby

Returning from a few weeks in Europe, flying at 38,000 feet over the Atlantic, in First Class, Donald had a heart attack and died.

He and Bonnie had just raised a champagne toast to the end of pleasant travels that included visiting family in Garmisch and cruising the Danube to Budapest.

In the next month or so, there will be a Celebration of Life as an opportunity for friends to exchange "Donald stories" and remember his love for German literature, passion for classical music, and zest for zany activities!

There is no date as yet, but we will keep you informed.

Click here to read Donald's obituary in the Washington Post.


Jennifer Wilson Sings Title Role in Turandot at the Met!

Jennifer Wilson, an alumna of WSWDC's Emerging Singers Program (now the American Wagner Project), will sing the title role in the Zeffirelli production of Puccini's Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera on November 12, 2015! She recently sang the role in Naples with four performances at the Teatro San Carlo! Congratulations, Jennifer!

Opera in Europe Tours

Opera In Europe, LLC, has several exciting tours in 2015 and 2016 that you will certainly enjoy:

May 2015: Opera Marathon in Salzburg and Budapest
June 2015: Wagner's Ring in Budapest
August 2015: Salzburg Summer Festival

In 2016, their Follow the Maestro tours will follow Maestro Adam Fischer to the Ring in Vienna, a concert tour in Spain, the Ring and Die Meistersinger in Budapest, and The Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt.

Support WSWDC by mentioning that you heard about Opera in Europe here when you make your reservations!

1st Annual American Wagner Project Concert!

Our inaugural AWP Concert took place on April 26, 2015, at the National Cathedral School here in Washington, DC. The concert featured three young Wagnerian graduates of the AWP program: Lauren Decker (mezzo soprano), Gregory Frens (tenor), and Eudora Brown (soprano). They performed selections from Das RheingoldTannhäuser, Parsifal, the Wesendonck Lieder, and Die Walküre.

Left to right: AWP Artistic Director Luana DeVol, Lauren Decker, Gregory Frens, pianist Betty Bullock, Eudora Brown, and Dolora Zajick, founder of the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, WSWDC's partner in the AWP.

Dolora Zajick Article in Sunday (Feb 15) Washington Post!

On  Sunday, February 15, the Washington Post contained an extensive article on mezzo soprano Dolora Zajick--WSWDC's valued partner in the American Wagner Project. The article mentioned WSWDC, the AWP, and WSWDC protégé Issachah Savage, who will sing the title role in Wagner's rarely-performed Rienzi at Strathmore on October 3. (WSWDC is partnering with the National Philharmonic Orchestra to make this concert production possible.)

Click here to read the article by Post classical music critic Anne Midgette!

John Pohanka: Wagner 101!

John Pohanka, WSWDC Board Member and author of Wagner the Mystic, recently gave a lecture, "Wagner 101," to members of the 4 Arts Society of Palm Beach, Florida. Click here to view a video recording!

Issachah Savage Makes Canadian Debut in Die Walküre!

Congratulations to Issachah Savage, WSWDC's protégé in the American Wagner Project! Issachah recently made his Canadian debut as Siegmund in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Die Walküre.

"Yesterday Savage sang the third performance and, in so doing, has secured his reputation as a major contender for star status among dramatic tenors worldwide." -- Neil Crory, Musical Toronto

Click here and here for additional details, and click here to view Issachah's website!

Help Bring Wagner's Rienzi to Washington!

Saturday, October 3, 2015
Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Metro to Grosvenor-Strathmore station (Red Line)

The National Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Piotr Gajewski, will present a concert version of Wagner’s first major success, Rienzi: Last of the Tribunes. It is rarely performed now, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear this late Romantic masterpiece!

WSWDC is proud to be co-sponsoring this major event, starring international Wagnerian soprano Jennifer Wilson and the shooting star of American heldentenors, Issachah Savage, both alumni of WSWDC's Emerging Singers Program and the American Wagner Project!

We need YOUR help in bringing this exciting event to Washington! At the moment, we are part-way to our fundraising goal of the $50,000 needed to support this project. Several WSWDC members have pledged major donations of $5,000 and even $10,000 to see this seminal work performed in our community. Please join us and help with your 100% tax-deductible donation! Use the button below or click here to download a form you may submit by mail or fax. The form also lists the special premiums we are using to recognize significant donors.

We thank you in advance for your participation and support of this important event!

Bayreuth Tickets Available!

Two tickets are available to the Ring Cycle on July 27-28-30-August 1:

Left, Row 2, Seat 12
Center, Row 3, Seat 9

960 euros each. Contact Christopher Wilson at