The Wesendonck Lieder – October 13th 2014 – report

13th October 2014, Friends’ Meeting House, Manchester

For twenty-three years Simon Rees gave pre-performance talks for Welsh National Opera at the New Theatre, Cardiff and the Wales Millennium Centre. He currently lectures on opera, song, orchestral and chamber music, fiction, poetry and art.

On his last visit to Manchester he discussed with us the relationship between Welsh National Opera’s then-current production of Die Meistersinger and the Welsh tradition of Eistedfoddi, enhancing our understanding of the Director’s ideas and our enjoyment of the performance.

For more information about Simon Rees, please visit his web page

Simon explained the long-standing support given to Wagner by Otto Wesendonck. Wesendonck was later Chairman of the Bayreuth Fundraising Committee when the Festspielhaus was built. He also showed how two of Mathilde Wesendonck’s poems are directly linked to Tristan and Isolde – ‘Im Treibhaus’ to the beginning of Act III and ‘Traume’ to the duet in Act II.

A fascinating evening.

Image: Rieterpark – Villa Wesendonck via Wikimedia Commons