The Wagner Society 
of Dallas




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Wagner's Birthday Celebration


WSD 2003  Business Meeting
Wagner's Birthday 2003
SMU Ring Marathon
An Israeli Conducts Wagner
The Tristan Chord
Tiffany Roberts Benefit Recital
Susan Miller Hult - Prompter

The Wagner Society of Dallas is Celebrating
the Birthday of Richard Wagner
Saturday, May 24, 2003, at 4:30 pm.



Matthew Piatt, Marjorie Owens, Glenn Bealls, Matthew Moore

In a Concert of Opera Arias

  • "Il est doux, il est bon" from HERODIADE
    MASSENET 1842-1912
  • "Per pieta!' from COSI FAN TUTTE
    MOZART 1756-1791
  • Natalya's Aria from OPRICHNIK
    TCHAIKOVSKY 1840-1893
  • 'Sei splendide lucente" from MANON LESCAUT
    PUCCINI 1858-1924
    with Matthew Moore, Baritone
  • "Fra gli amplessi" from COSI FAN TUTTE
    MOZART 1756-1791
    with Glenn Bealls, Tenor
  • "Come in questora bruna" from SIMON BOCCANEGRA
    VERDI 1813-1901
  • 'Vissi d'arte" from TOSCA
    PUCCINI 1858-1924
  • "Dich, theure Halle" from TANNHAUSER
    WAGNER 1813-1883

Wagner's Birthday Party
at the Home of William and Hazel Hendrix

Click on Images for Enlarged View

The Hendrix
Music Room

Virginia Abdo
Makes Announcements

Waiting for
the Show to Start

Greg McConeghy Introduces the Program

An Expectant Crowd

Listening Attentively

Marjorie Owens and Matthew Piatt

Marjorie Owens with Matthew Moore

Marjorie Owens with
Glenn Bealls

Taking a Bow

Standing Ovation

Now we can Relax!

Wagner's Birthday Cake
It's Devil's Food!

Anne Bell, Dallas Opera's Jonathan Pell, Cleve Schneider, Sharie Barnett

Stephen Wood, Bruce Jaster, host Bill Hendrix

Ron Moore and his Book on Lauritz Melchior from Baskerville Publishers

Andrea Schreiber
the Caterer

Enjoying the Food

Greg and Virginia
have a serious moment

Herbert Massey

Virginia Abdo
with Matthew Piatt

Richard Wagner's Birthday was May 22, 1813. This year, in commemoration of such an important and auspicious event, the Wagner Society of Dallas celebrated on Saturday, May 24, 2003, with the traditional birthday cake and recital, this year featuring soprano Marjorie Owens in a program of opera arias, accompanied by pianist Matthew Piatt.

Soprano Marjorie Owens, a member of Houston Opera's Opera Studio, made a strong impression on members of the Wagner Society of Dallas in her Recital on May 24. Her ambitious program of important and difficult opera arias was performed with apparent ease and an outpouring of sound that was thrilling to hear. Miss Owens began with the aria "Il est doux, il est bon" from Massenet's opera Heriodiade, which set the tone for the afternoon. From the very beginning, her rich and colorful voice blazed forth in a cascade of sound which rang in the ears of her listeners.

In two of her numbers, Miss Owens was joined by friends who are students of John Van Cura, a voice teacher at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Mr. Van Cura is also Marjorie Owens' teacher.  Baritone Matthew Moore sang in the duet from Manon Lescaut, and tenor Glenn Bealls in the duet from Cosi Fan Tutte. Both of these young men were also quite impressive.

Pianist Matthew Piatt, accompanist for Houston Grand Opera, joined Miss Owens in her recital. He provided a secure foundation for all of his singers, supporting them in their performances with a strong understanding of operatic style. An accompanist can make or break a singer, and Matthew Piatt was obviously an asset to the afternoon's proceedings.

Marjorie Owens was one of the finest young, and sometimes not so young singers that WSD has presented in recent years. It seems that with proper care and training, along with her jump start from Houston Grand Opera Studio, she is well placed for a significant career in the difficult world of opera singing.

Marjorie Owens' recital was part of Wagner Society of Dallas's annual Wagner's Birthday Celebration, this year celebrating the 190th birthday of Richard Wagner.

Thanks to Bill and Hazel Hendrix from WSD for opening up their home for this year's birthday party. There was a large turnout for this event, filling the spacious Hendrix living room and overflowing into the dining room for additional seating. WSD founder Virginia Abdo arranged for the special Wagner's Birthday Cake, a chocolate Devil's Food cake with white icing decorated with a picture of Richard Wagner.

Ed Flaspoehler, Webmaster
Wagner Society of Dallas

Welcome to The Wagner Society of Dallas. You know, as Texans, we're bound to strive for being the biggest and best of all the Wagner groups in the world over.

My hope, in addition, is that we ensure your attendance and participation by offering an interesting, stimulating, and enjoyable array of meetings, recitals, and travel. Let us know if you have suggestions for future activities, and do make an effort to join in during the coming months with your membership, attendance, and above all joy of being with fellow Wagner aficionados.

Roger Carroll
President of the Wagner Society of Dallas

The Wagner Society of Dallas - Virginia R. Abdo and Dr. James T. Wheeler,

The Wagner Society of Dallas is devoted to furthering the enjoyment and appreciation of the music of Richard Wagner. The Dallas group is one of many Wagner Societies all over the world. It is a non-profit organization open to anyone who enjoys the works of Richard Wagner and who would like to participate in the Society’s activities.

The Wagner Society of Dallas has monthly meetings and programs which feature recitals, lectures, video screenings, receptions for opera singers and personalities, and trips to Wagner performances in other cities. We welcome music lovers who are already familiar with Wagner’s works as well as those who may want to become more knowledgeable about Wagner’s music.

Member Benefits include attendance at programs, our newsletter, discount on books and CD’s, advance notice of events and selected ticket services, receipt of the Membership Directory, ticket allotments to Bayreuth, and an active link with fellow Wagnerians throughout the world.


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 ] WSD 2003  Business Meeting ] [ Wagner's Birthday 2003 ] SMU Ring Marathon ] An Israeli Conducts Wagner ] The Tristan Chord ] Tiffany Roberts Benefit Recital ] Susan Miller Hult - Prompter ]


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

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