Playing with Fire:
The pursuit of a Wagner Performance tradition in Adelaide in the decade 1995- 2005 and factors impeding its realisation.
The Adelaide Wagner Decade 1995-2005. Peter Bassett was very closely involved in the production and planning of both Adelaide Ring Cycles in 1998 and 2004, as well as the State Opera of South Australia’s 2001 production of Parsifal. For example, at Arts SA, Peter was involved with the planning of the 2004 Ring and 2001 Parsifal from a government perspective (as well as being a member of the State Opera Board), was engaged as Artistic Administrator and appointed Dramaturg for the 2004 Ring, coordinated the ancillary events program for the 2004 Ring and gave the pre-performance lectures for the two Rings and Parsifal. His book A Ring for the Millennium was published in 1998 and, as a second edition entitled The Nibelung’s Ring, in 2004. A book on Parsifal published in 2000 was republished in 2008, while another on Tristan und Isolde was published in 2006. In 2016, Peter was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Griffith University for a thesis entitled: Playing with fire: The pursuit of a Wagner performance tradition in Adelaide in the decade 1995-2005, and factors impeding its realisation. His talk will include DVD footage of the 1998 and 2004 Rings in rehearsal and performance, and the 2001 Parsifal.
Click this link for the full text of Peter’s PHD as a pdf.
About the Artists
Mezzo-Soprano Deborah Humble is one of Australia’s best known and most successful opera singers. After gaining a Bachelor of Music from the University of Adelaide and a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne Deborah was a member of the Victoria State Opera Young Artist Programme. Having been a Principal Artist for both Opera Australia and The State Opera of Hamburg she has embarked upon a freelance career which takes her all over the world.
Recognised internationally for her performances of Verdi and Wagner recent engagements include Erda in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried with the Hong Kong Philharmonic (recorded on CD for Naxos), Brangaene in Tristan and Isolde with the Mexico City Symphony, Amneris in Aida for Opera Australia, Alisa in Lucia di Lamermoor for the Teatro Mario del Monaco in Treviso, Erda in Siegfried for the Boston Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem at the Sage Concert Hall in the UK, Mahler’s Symphony No 8 at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore, complete Ring Cycles in Hamburg, Halle, Bari, Ludwigshafen and Melbourne, Erda in Das Rheingold for Saffron Opera, U.K. and Mozart’s Requiem with the Queensland Symphony. Recordings include Clarissa in The Love for Three Oranges with Opera Australia for Chandos , a complete Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Hamburg State Opera released on the Oehms label, Offenbach’s La Belle Helene with the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for Deutsche Gramophone and Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione with Les Musiciens du Louvre for EMI. Deborah was a recipient of Australia’s prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship, a finalist in the 2008 International Wagner Competition in Seattle, and has been included in the Who’s Who of Australian Women since 2009. This year Deborah returned to Australia to act as a mentor in The Dame Nellie Melba Trust Programme for young opera singers and to adjudicate The City of Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Aria Scholarship. Next week Deborah travels to France to sing Mary in The Flying Dutchman for Opera Lille.
After studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sharolyn Kimmorley joined the Music Staff of The Australian Opera in 1975 and has assisted in the preparation of a vast range of works with many distinguished singers and conductors. In 1985 she became Principal Repetiteur for The Australian Opera and in 1987 was appointed Head of Music Staff. From 1994 to 1999 she was the company’s Artistic Administrator, following which she was Opera Australia’s Director of Music Administration until June 2003.
Sharolyn Kimmorley is regarded as one of Australia’s finest vocal coaches and accompanists. She has recorded for the ABC, taken part in Chamber Music Concerts, and accompanied some of the world’s most distinguished musicians including Dame Joan Sutherland, Håkan Hagegård, Neil Rosenshein, Bryn Terfel, Joan Carden, Stephen Bennett, Michael Lewis, Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Sir Thomas Allen, Désirée Rancatore, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson, Elizabeth Campbell, Keith Lewis, Inessa Galante, Dennis O’Neill, Kathleen Battle, Jonathan Lemalu, Peter Coleman-Wright and Cheryl Barker, Yvonne Kenny, Ryan McKinney, Barbara Bonney, Emma-Jane Murphy and Sasha Rozhdestvensky.
Born in Switzerland, Australian violinist/violist Imants Larsens began playing the violin at the age of three in Adelaide, studying first with his grandmother Alita Larsens, then with Keith Crellin. He continued his studies at the Musikhochschule Zentralschweiz in Lucerne under the guidance of his father Gunars Larsens, graduating with Lehrdiplom and Konzertreifediplom degrees with distinction.
Imants holds the position of Associate Principal viola of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 he was guest Assistant Principal viola with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and has also performed as guest Principal viola with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician on both violin and viola.