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Rockhampton audience heard composition first

The premiere performance of John Rotar’s prize-winning composition was included in the programme of the northern tour to Rockhampton and Gladstone by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Guy Noble.

At the Rockhampton concert on 28 August 2013, Guy Noble, in his inimitable way, introduced the work by telling the audience about John winning the Wagner Society’s composition prize. He asked them to repeat after him the title, which they did with enthusiasm: “Ein Lied aus Wagners murmelndem Grab”. John and his parents also heard a full orchestra perform the work for the first time.

‘Wagner Ring – A Tale Told in Music’

A set of DVDs: ‘Wagner Ring – A Tale Told in Music’ featuring our good friend and celebrated Wagnerian Heath Lees will be launched by the Governor of Victoria later in September. The release is timed to coincide with the forthcoming Melbourne Ring. The price is $110 for Australian buyers at

The set was produced by Mad Woman Productions under the direction of documentary filmmaker Sam Reed and manufactured in Hong Kong. The New Zealand Wagner Society is the major sponsor with a donation of $10,000 through the Wagner New Zealand Foundation, the WSNZ’s charitable trust.

Wagner Society of Queensland members are also involved with this set of DVDs: Gillian Lancelot’s lithographs by Hugo Braune and Arthur Rackham have been used in an imaginative way for the main titles and elsewhere, and Peter Bassett participated in interviews used by Heath in the course of the recording.

The WNZF has also provided support for Simon O’Neill’s recording with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra: ‘Father & Son‘, awarded a grant to Margaret Medlyn to study in Europe and supported concert performances of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, (NZSO) and the 2012 concert (Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra) with Deborah Voigt. The Foundation raises its funds from donations by members, bequests and donations from the WSNZ itself.