The Richard Wagner Association (Singapore) is one of nearly 150 members of the Richard- Wagner-Verband-International headquartered in Bayreuth. RWVI is currently led by President Mr. Horst Eggers.
With the encouragement of London Wagner Society Secretary Mrs Andrea Buchanan, RWA(S) President Juliana Lim and Vice-President Dr Ronald Ling (who suggested “The Flying Dutchman” for the first Wagner opera in Singapore) shared the Association’s dream to stage an Asian-style “The Flying Dutchman” in Singapore, in a paper to the RWVI Praesidium in December 2014.
With further encouragement from Venice Wagner Society President Prof. Alessandra Althoff-Pugliese who was in Singapore on a private vacation in April 2015, Juliana formally presented the idea at the 2015 RWVI Congress in Dessau in May. The idea was warmly received by both the RWVI Praesidium and our sister societies around the world.
After many months of dialogue, RWVI and our sister societies are supporting “The Flying Dutchman” in the following significant ways:
- Mrs. Eva Wagner-Pasquier, great-grand-daughter of composer Richard Wagner and the Ambassador of the Bayreuth Festival to Wagner Societies, has consented to grace the Singapore Premiere performance on 23 October as our Guest-of-Honour;
- RWVI Vice-President Prof. Alessandra Althoff-Pugliese, has, since her visit to Singapore in April 2015, extended advice and support to us, including helping us cast our international leads. The President of the Venice Wagner Society and a vocal coach by profession, Prof. Althoff-Pugliese is coaching and rehearsing our leads in Germany, preparing them for their roles before they commence rehearsals in Singapore in October;
- The Richard Wagner Verband Karlsruhe e.V led by its President Prof Dr. Michael Schneider, generously opened the door to the triennial International Singing Competition for Wagner Voices, to us. Three of our international leads have been cast from the 2012 (Olesksandr Pushniak, 1st Prize & Audience Prize Winner) and 2015 (Kathleen Parker, Wolfang Wagner & Audience Prizes; and Jakub Pustina, Semi-finalist) Competitions. This is probably the only production in which three winners from the Competition are singing side-by-side.
- RWVI is helping us to promote our “The Flying Dutchman” Singapore Holiday Experience travel package among overseas Wagnerians. The package includes a top-tier opera ticket to the Premiere, entry to post-performance reception and a five-day cultural experience in Singapore.
In staging The Flying Dutchman with leads from other parts of the globe, RWA(S) is giving substance to the overarching vision of the RWVI community of nurturing young Wagnerian artists. We are especially proud that we are helping to promote international cooperation and artistic exchange.
(Article written by Juliana Lim. Photos c/o singers)