1st Annual American Wagner Project Concert!

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 3:00 pm
National Cathedral School
3612 Woodley Rd, NW, Washington, DC
Parking garage available on premises

The American Wagner Project, a partnership between WSWDC and Dolora Zajick's Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, is now in its second year. Our first graduate, tenor Issachah Savage, has had many successes: debuting as Siegmund in the Canadian Opera Company's Ring, performing at the Met, and winning three prizes at this past summer's International Wagner Competition. He will sing the title role in the National Philharmonic Orchestra's concert performance of Wagner's Rienzi this coming October.

Our inaugural AWP Concert will feature three young Wagnerian graduates of the AWP program: Lauren Decker (mezzo soprano), Gregory Frens (tenor), and Eudora Brown (soprano). They will perform selections from Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Tannhäuser, and Die Meistersinger.

Order your tickets by completing the form below, or use this form to order by mail or fax.


AWP Concert 2015


Heath Lees: The Music of the Ring and the Life Cycle of an Audience

Thursday, May 7, 2015, 7:30 pm
812 7th Street, NW, Washington DC

In this presentation, Heath Lees, Emeritus Professor of Music at Auckland University, New Zealand, will show how the music of Wagner's Ring increases in complexity and effect, and in doing so, nurtures the growth of an audience: from "baby" states in the opening measures of Das Rheingold, through adolescence in Die Walküre, through a kind of sympathetic parenthood in Siegfried, to the rich, closing memories of aged grandparents in Brünnhilde's final monologue in Götterdämmerung.

This lecture is FREE and open to the public. No RSVP is necessary.

Mahler Festival @ PostClassical Ensemble!

Our good friends at PostClassical Ensemble have two events coming up as part of their 2014-15 Mahler Festival!

Interplay: Who Was Gustav Mahler?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 7:30 pm
Austrian Cultural Forum
3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC
Free street parking available

A lecture/recital by baritone Christòpheren Nomura with pianist Lura Johnson, and presentations (with live and recorded music) on Mahler in New York and Mahler & “Jewishness” by Professor James Loeffler of UVA and Joe Horowitz, host, with eminent Viennese historian Christian Glanz (University for Music and Performing Arts, Vienna), Professor Anna Celenza of Georgetown University, and PCE Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez. Free Admission!

Concert and Playlet: A Mahler Portrait

Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 7:30 pm
Austrian Cultural Forum (details above)

A multimedia program featuring PostClassical Ensemble, led by Angel Gil-Ordóñez, and baritone Christòpheren Nomura in “Songs of a Wayfarer” and the “Abschied” from “The Song of the Earth,” plus a playlet about the marriage of Gustav and Alma Mahler, featuring Sasha Olinick and Laura C. Harris. Click here for tickets!

BSO at Strathmore Presents Heidi Melton: Strauss' Four Last Songs!

Saturday, May 23, 2015
Pre-performance lecture at 7:00 pm, concert at 8:00 pm
Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD

Guest conductor Markus Stenz brings panache and musical depth to signature German repertoire, including Schumann’s vibrant Second Symphony, Weber's overture to Der Freischütz, and the return of impressive rising star Heidi Melton in Richard Strauss’ last great outpouring for the soprano voice.

Click here for tickets! (Reserve a spot at the lecture separately.)

Issachah Savage at the Met!

Issachah Savage, the first graduate of the American Wagner Project, recently debuted as Don Riccardo in the Metropolitan Opera's current production of Verdi's Ernani. Performances will run through April 11. Click here and here for some great photos of Issachah in costume!

Jennifer Wilson Sings Title Role in Turandot!

Jennifer Wilson, an alumna of WSWDC's Emerging Singers Program (now the American Wagner Project), is making her official debut singing the title role in Puccini's Turandot at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples! Click here for the announcement and here for additional details about the production!

Wagner in der Wildnis 2015

Our 15th Annual Weekend Retreat (Members-only event)

Friday, June 5 to Sunday, June 7, 2015
Cacapon Resort State Park
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
Having studied all ten of Richard Wagner’s mature operas, we now will look at all ten operas at once via a thematic approach. No composer ever produced so much love music with the profoundness or variety of Wagner, and we will have the privilege of an in-depth journey guided by our “dream team” presenters:

Pianist Jeffrey Swann offers his prized lecture-demonstrations at the piano. Known from previous Wildnis weekends, his concert performances for the Wagner Society of Washington, DC, his talk for the Smithsonian's Tristan und Isolde seminar in 2004, and his lectures at Bayreuth.
Professor Simon Williams, Chairman, Drama Department, University of California at Santa Barbara, presents his insightful lectures on Wagner and drama. His latest books: Wagner and the Romantic Hero, now in paperback, and A History of German Theatre.

Cacapon Resort State Park, near Berkeley Springs, WV, is a two-hour drive from downtown Washington. Car pools can be arranged. Click here
for a virtual tour.

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!