The Wagner Society 
of Dallas




WSD 2013-2014 EVENTS

WSD 2012-2013 EVENTS

WSD 2011-2012 EVENTS

WSD 2010-2011 EVENTS

WSD 2009-2010 EVENTS

WSD 2008-2009 EVENTS

WSD 2007-2008 EVENTS

WSD 2006-2007 EVENTS

WSD 2005-2006 EVENTS

WSD 2004-2005 EVENTS

WSD 2003-2004 EVENTS

WSD 2002-2003 EVENTS

WSD 2001-2002 EVENTS








WSD Attends Tannhauser 
at Houston Grand Opera

Sunday, October 28, 2001

WSD Events

Home ] [ Tannhauser at Houston Grand Opera ] Supermen of Gotterdammerung ] Wagner, Liszt and Weimar ] Wagner and American Opera ] Wagner 189th Birthday Recital ]

A Trip Photo Album

Click on images for enlarged view.

Dcp_0068.jpg (65414 bytes)
Houston's  Wortham 
Theater Center

Michelle DeYoung

Stig Andersen

Wolfram von Eschenbach
Guido Paevatalu

Tina Kiberg

Landgraf Hermann
Stephen Milling

John Fiore

Werner Herzog

Set Designer
Maurizio Balo

Costume Designer
Franz Blumauer

Houston Symphony Orchestra 
Houston Grand Opera Chorus

Dcp_0071.jpg (68362 bytes)
HGO Marquee

Dcp_0074.jpg (78826 bytes)
Tannhauser Curtain Calls

Dcp_0048.jpg (23011 bytes)
WSD Founder
Virginia Abdo 
at the Opera

Pre-Curtain Luncheon at the Lancaster

On October 28, WSD members flew down as a group on Southwest Airlines to Houston from Dallas,  to attend Houston Grand Opera's Sunday Matinee performance of Tannhauser. Before the opera, there was a brunch buffet at the Lancaster Hotel, just across the street from the Wortham Center. Ann Thompson, a long time friend of the Wagner Society of Dallas, was originally scheduled to present a short lecture, but she was called away on other business. Instead, she sent one of her colleagues, Reese Marshall, to take her place. He did an excellent job of filling members in on some of the details of the production, as well as explaining a bit of the background of the story of Tannhauser, and how Wagner adapted his materials to become the opera we know today.

There is an excellent review of the performance we saw by WSD member Carroll Staton.

Dcp_0064.jpg (83125 bytes)
Virginia Abdo Serves Guest Speaker Reese Marshall

Dcp_0057.jpg (79586 bytes)
Virginia Greets Members at Luncheon

Dcp_0058.jpg (76138 bytes)
WSD Vice Chairman Roger Carroll with Don Janak 

Dcp_0059.jpg (77225 bytes)
Jim Wheeler, Dan Sneed, and WSD Chairman Joan Merriman

Dcp_0060.jpg (76231 bytes)
Marion Ward and friend with Carroll Staton

Dcp_0061.jpg (79222 bytes)
Sue Rekerdres and Fred Ward

Dcp_0062.jpg (84056 bytes)
Kyle Kerr, Gaston Maurin, and Marion Ward

Dcp_0063.jpg (81832 bytes)
Fred Ward and Pat Mattingly

Dcp_0069.jpg (77512 bytes)
Before the Opera: Allesandra Comini at the Box Office

Dcp_0066.jpg (37381 bytes)
Speaker Reese Marshall Discusses Wagner and Tannhauser

Dcp_0067.jpg (76624 bytes)
Gaston and Don 
Visit with Reese Marshall 

Dcp_0070.jpg (81650 bytes)
Virginia Abdo with HGO Violinist Friend

Houston Buildings:

Dcp_0075.jpg (50172 bytes)

Dcp_0076.jpg (55492 bytes)

At Rigoletto on Saturday Night

HGO often pairs two operas back to back on one weekend. Out of town attendees can thus get two performances on one trip. Saturday night, October 27, the opera was Verdi's Rigoletto, with Robert Aronica as the Duke, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Rigoletto, and Laura Claycomb as Gilda. Maddalena was sung by Marie Novacek, with Sparafucile by Raymond Aceto. Standout in this fine performance, lovingly conducted by Patrick Summers, was the stylish Gilda of Laura Claycomb. Sets were by Peter Yeargan and Costumes by Peter J. Hall. This was the same production that was used in Dallas last year, although with a different cast of singers.

Dcp_0042.jpg (47612 bytes)
Oh, Say Can You See!

Dcp_0043.jpg (59493 bytes)
The View from the Top

Dcp_0044.jpg (71191 bytes)
The Brown Theater Lobby

Dcp_0045.jpg (45813 bytes)
David Arata and Martin Reyes with Oklahoma Friend

Dcp_0046.jpg (50331 bytes)
Gaston Maurin and Kyle Kerr Join the Group

Dcp_0047.jpg (38862 bytes)
Rigoletto Curtain Calls

Texas Foreign Language Association Convention 
at the Adams Mark Hotel

Sunday Morning before Tannhauser at HGO, WSD Founder Virginia Abdo was an invited speaker at the Texas Foreign Language Association convention in Houston. She presented a workshop for German teachers, comparing the Neibelungen Leid, a German literary classic, with Wagner's treatment of the same story in his operatic tetrology, Der Ring des Neibelungen. During her presentation, Virgina played a video of Anna Russell's humorous re-telling of the Ring story, as well as clips from Fritz Lang's 1924 silent film, Die Neibelungen, and highlights from the recent Metropolitan Opera presentation of the operas Siegfried and Gotterdammerung. These selections concentrated on the character of Siegfried, how he forged his sword, Nothung, and was eventually stabbed in the back and killed by Hagen.

Dcp_0050.jpg (21675 bytes)

Dcp_0052.jpg (76605 bytes)

Dcp_0056.jpg (71019 bytes)

Dcp_0054.jpg (75741 bytes)
A GRReat Expert addressing 
other GRReat Experts

Dcp_0053.jpg (78423 bytes)
...very strong, and very brave, and very handsome, 
and very STUPID!

Dcp_0055.jpg (81304 bytes)
And at the end, you're right back where you started from, 
20 hours ago!

Dcp_0051.jpg (54702 bytes)
WSD Webmaster 
Ed Flaspoehler

The Wagner Society of Dallas
PO Box 25201
Dallas, TX 75225-0201


Home Page


The Wagner Society of Dallas

PO Box 25201
Dallas, TX 75225-0201
(214) 363-6070

Virginia R. Abdo and
Dr. James T. Wheeler

email: WSD@

Digital Photos on this website, unless otherwise noted,
copyright Edward P. Flaspoehler, JR

Home ] Up ] [ Tannhauser at Houston Grand Opera ] Supermen of Gotterdammerung ] Wagner, Liszt and Weimar ] Wagner and American Opera ] Wagner 189th Birthday Recital ]


Many Wagner Society of Dallas members fondly remember Sheila Jones Harms, who was an active member of the organization, and who presented many interesting programs and recitals over the years.

Now, WSD member Ed Flaspoehler has completed his biography of Sheila, called The Cold War Soprano: Memoirs of a Singer-Spy.

If you are interested in opera and fine singing, Sheila's biography will surely be of interest to you. Not only will you get an inside glimpse of what it takes to become an opera singer, and learn about the world of opera in Post- WWII Vienna, but, because Sheila and her husband Werner, were also CIA agents, you will get a look at the Cold War from a personal point of view.

You can get a copy of Ed's book on the internet at

The Wagner Society of Dallas
is a Member of
The International Association of Wagner Societies

Web Site Designed and Maintained by Prestige Services