Past Events

Wagner on the Mind in Eastern Europe: Dvořák and Smetana
Presentation by the ever-popular musician, musicologist, opera director Saul Lilienstein, former student of Leonard Bernstein
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 2 p.m.
Commonwealth Salon
Boston Public Library
Copley Square


Tristan und Isolde Seminar, in collaboration with Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at 7 p.m.
Houston Hall
Boston Conservatory, first floor
8 Fenway, Boston


Wagner’s Greatest Hits

November 5, 2017, 3 p.m.
With soprano Sarai Cole, heldentenor Adam Russell, baritone Philip Lima, and pianist Matthew Larson
Excerpts from Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Die Walküre, and Parsifal

Hibernian Hall, Roxbury, Massachusetts

Mathilde Wesendonck: Isolde’s Dream

October 1, 2017, 2 p.m.Isolde's Dream: A Biography of Mathilde Wesendonck

Lecture and book signing by music critic, writer, journalist, and teacher Judith Cabaud

Public Library of Brookline, Coolidge Corner branch

Free and open to the public

Lohengrin on the Swan Boats in Boston’s
Public Garden!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017, at 11 a.m.

Rain date: Saturday, June 12, 2017, at 12:45 p.m.

Live operatic music with tenor Alan Schneider and keyboardist Jeffrey Brody. Lohengrin served as the inspiration for the founding of the swan boats in the nineteenth century. Two major arias from Wagner’s opera will be performed: “Mein lieber Schwann” (My Dear Swan) and “In fernem Land” (In a Faraway Land).


Members only! To become a member, click on “Membership” above.

You must register to join us on this beautiful journey. Deadline: June 2, 2017. To register, click here.

Songs Past and Present

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Concert of Lieder by Gustav Mahler, Frank E. Warren, Jeffrey Brody, and Richard Wagner.

For tickets, click here.

May 23, 2017-concert-flyer-1

Monday, March 27, 2017, 8 p.m.

Presentation by Francesca Zambello, international opera and theater director

“Directing the Ring Cycle and a Preview of the 2018 San Francisco Ring”

In collaboration with Boston University

George Sherman Union Auditorium
Boston University
Free and open to the public

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 2 pm.

Presentation by Erica Miner, former Metropolitan Opera violinist, author, and lecturer

“21 Years at the Met: How I Learned to Love the Ring”

Commonwealth Salon
Boston Public Library
Copley Square
Free and open to the public

Saturday, November 12, 2016, 2 p.m.

Presentation by Saul Lilienstein, musician, musicologist, conductor, and former student of Leonard Bernstein

“Wagner, Mann, and Mahler:
Cross-Currents of Influence in Thomas Mann’s Writing and Gustav Mahler’s Music”

Commonwealth Salon
Boston Public Library
Copley Square
Free and open to the public

May 28, 2016, at 3 p.m.

Concert performance of Act 1 of Siegfried

Featuring, direct from their performance in Washington
National Opera’s Ring

Daniel Brenna as Siegfried
Alan Held as The Wanderer
David Cangelosi as Mime
Jeffrey Brody Piano

Please take our
post-concert survey.


May 1, 2016, 2:30 p.m.

Misunderstood Characterizations in Wagner’s Act 1 of Siegfried
In preparation for the May 28 concert
Presented by David J. Collins, musician and musicologist
Commonwealth Salon
Boston Public Library
Copley Square
Admission: Free!


Sunday, April 10, 2016, 2:30 p.m.

Presentation by Erica Miner, former Met violinist and author of Murder in the Pit.
Ms. Miner returns to speak of her experiences with leading Met Opera stars.
Brookline Public Library, Coolidge Corner branch
Free to all!


April 9, 2016, 5 p.m.

Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall
Die Walküre
Concert Performance featuring Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor
Goethe Institute
170 Beacon Street, Boston
Admission: $5
Refreshments provided


Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm

On Wagnerian Ideals in the Digital Age

Presentation by Nathaniel Meyer, conductor, award-winning trumpeter, and writer
Commonwealth Salon
Boston Public Library, Copley Square
Free to all!


Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 2:30 p.m.lillienthal

“When Wagner Found His Muse: What He Learned from Beethoven, the Composer He Idolized”

Presentation by Saul Lilienstein, musician, musicologist, opera director

Commonwealth Salon, Boston Public Library, Copley Square


Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 2 p.m.

Reception  silent auction, concert Blacksmith Workshop

Our first fundraising event, to benefit the May 28, 2016, concert
Reception, vocal excerpts from Act 1 of Siegfried, and silent auction
Tenor Alan Schneider, Bass-Baritone Dmytro Pavlyuk, and pianist Jeffrey Brody.


BWS Tenth Anniversary Book


Read about the events sponsored by the Boston Wagner Society from 2003 to 2013.



Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 2 p.m.

Heath LeesWagner’s Ring: A Tale Told in Music
With new and interesting information

Presentation by Heath Lees
University professor, broadcaster, writer, and musicologist
Founder of the Wagner Society of New Zealand


minerSunday, April 12, 2015 at 2:30 p.m.

Wagner and Bernstein: Parallels and Contrasts

Presentation by Erica Miner
Former violinist at the Met and award-winning author


 Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 6 p.m.

Grand Opera bookFrom Fremstad to Flagstad: Wagner at the Met, 1914–1935

Lecture and book signing by Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron
Authors of Grand Opera: The Story of the Met



Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 6 p.m.

Maestro Asher Fisch returns for a presentation, Musical Revolution in The Ring.

Presentation with excerpts from the Seattle Ring. Maestro Fisch will introduce listeners to the historic significance of the musical innovations made by Wagner as he pushed back the boundaries of the art form when he created the Ring.




Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 3 p.m.

The View from the Rim: Tristan, the Grand Canyon, and the Beauty of the Abyss
Presented by James Holman, Chairman of the Wagner Society of Washington DC

The quarter century from 1857 to 1883, from the composition of Tristan und Isolde to the composer’s death, marked a period of unprecedented and revolutionary change, change in the way we look at the world and the way we look at ourselves. The “discovery” of the Grand Canyon, and the beauty of looking “downward,” is an apt metaphor, both for Wagner’s masterpiece and for a civilization coming to terms with the modern world.

Please join us for another superb presentation by James Holman, Chairman of the Wagner Society of Washington DC and author/editor of several books on Wagner. The book Quo Vadis, Wagner: Approaching the Bicentennial will be distributed for free and signed by Chairman James K. Holman, who is the editor. The book includes essays by luminaries such as Leon Botstein, Jeffrey Buller, Maureen Dowd, Evelyn Lear, Saul Lilienstein, Barry Millington, John J. Pohanka, Alex Ross, Nicholas Vazsony, Simon Williams, and Francesca Zambello

Friday, May 2,2014 at 7 p.m.

Wagner, Verdi, Donizetti & Bellini: A Medley
Art Songs, Arias, and Piano Solos

With Marcelo Guzzo, baritone, and Rainer Armbrust, piano

Marcelo Guzzo in the Bacchanal of Act 1 of Tannhäuser in Colombia

Baritone Marcelo Guzzo as Wolfram in the Bacchanal from Tannhäuser, the first Wagner opera to be performed in Colombia, conducted by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel

Baritone Marcelo Guzzo as Wolfram in Colombia's Tannhäuser, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel

Marcelo Guzzo as the minstrel Wolfram in Colombia’s Tannhäuser

To learn more, see:  About the Artists and Program


Saturday, April 5, 2014.

Wagner and Brahms: Rivalries and Common Ground
Talk and audiovisual presentation by musician and musicologist Saul Lilienstein

Saul Lilienstein

Saturday, March 8, 2014

What the Composer Intended: Producing Wagner on Stage
Talk and audiovisual presentation by designer/librettist William Fregosi

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Importance of Being Wagner
A humorous talk and audiovisual presentation by composer Tony Schemmer

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