WSWDC Lectures: Wagner in der Wildnis

Among the many unique events conducted by the Wagner Society of Washington DC, there is one that stands out as its most significant: the annual members-only retreat, Wagner in der Wildnis. This program provides our members an opportunity to step back from their everyday lives and gather in a secluded setting to study and discuss a single Wagner opera for an entire weekend. The retreat features formal lecture and discussion sessions under the leadership of two distinguished Wagner experts, Pianist Jeffrey Swann and Professor Simon Williams.

Now, for the first time, WSWDC is happy to share with the general public its audio archive of these valuable sessions. In addition, we are including several Wagner lectures by WSWDC Chairman Jim Holman. We are releasing the audio files as they become available, so please check this page often for updates! WSWDC invites you to sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy!

So far, Lohengrin, TannhäuserDer fliegende Holländer, and the entire Ring are available! The remaining lectures will be coming soon!

2007: Lohengrin

2008: Tannhäuser

2009: Tristan und Isolde

2010: Der fliegende Holländer

2011: Das Rheingold

2012: Die Walküre

2013: Siegfried

2014: Götterdämmerung

2015: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

2017: Parsifal



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, recently retired Chairman of the 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.

WSWDC Chairman James K. Holman is the editor of Quo Vadis, Wagner? Approaching the Bicentennial (2012), author of the award-winning Wagner's Ring: A Listener's Companion and Concordance (1997), and editor of Wagner Moments (2007). He has been the Chairman of WSWDC since its inception in 1998. A graduate of Princeton (BA) and Harvard (MA) Universities, he regularly writes and lectures on Wagner.





















The Wagner Society of Washington DC expresses its deepest gratitude to longtime member Marc Nicholson for suggesting, facilitating, and financing the online publication of these lectures as invaluable resources for the worldwide Wagnerian community.