(Federation Hall, Melbourne, 30 November 2016)
The Varnished Culture was honoured to attend a soirée at the Victorian College of the (we trust, Beaux,) Arts on the eve of the 2nd cycle of Melbourne’s Ring. New President of The Richard Wagner Society (in Victoria) Inc., the urbane and congenial Mr. Trevor Clarke, who’s learned discourses on Wagner matters are well known, welcomed Wagnerites from all compass-points, including the Presidents and representatives of Wagner Societies in Singapore, Toronto and the great State of Western Australia.
Over copious drinks and sandwiches on trays prettily bedecked in tussie-mussie, distributed by diverse and erudite Norns from the Society, TVC mingled with the great and the good as they rubbed collective hands at the prospect of the evening’s Das Rheingold. Bradley Daley was a guest, looking relaxed (in that Siegmund would not appear till later in the week); Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini was a no-show as he was supervising some last minute cramming for Kanen Breen, filling in as Mime for an ailing Graeme Macfarlane. But CEO of Opera Australia, Craig Hassall, was there, basking in some local glory ahead of taking up his plum post in Blighty at the Albert Hall.
This was a very enjoyable event, one full of refreshingly open and broad-minded discussion, covering the diverse ways, means and whys of the lure of The Ring. The President’s warm, generous and flattering words about this humble website did not escape our attention either, but long before then The Varnished Culture felt disinclined to contest any observations made on such a lovely evening, in such a fair city.