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Exclusive: Dame Gwyneth Jones strikes back at the Wagner rebels

The diva has decided to stand up and fight the committee of the Wagner Society which is trying to topple her as president.

In an email to friends this morning, she asks them to contact any members they might know of the London Wagner Society and implore them to turn out in force at the Special General Meeting on July 11. Dame Gwyneth says she has not been officially informed of this meeting, or invited to attend. She is challenging both the calling of the vote and the manner of scrutiny.

She also tells friends that she is consulting lawyers over a possible defamation action against the chair and treasurer of the Society.

She will not go quietly. Nor should she.

Let other Brünnhildes rally to her cause…. Come on, girls…. charge!




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  1. Mitleid for such a passionate Diva. I am quite sure Dame Gwynneth is very savvy about this horrible situation, but perhaps additional letters of support from the Wagner ladies and Christian Thielemann might help. There’s also quite a large Wagner Socity in New York. Many, many are sympathetic to her cause.

  2. Theodore McGuiver says:

    So what are the committee’s reasons for wanting to depose her? Without this information it’s going to be difficult to have any constructive discussion.

  3. Beaky Thwaite says:

    What a remarkably brief and one-sided snippet this is.

    Why not spell out the REASONS WHY the attempt to topple her is taking place?

  4. Opera Lover says:

    Dame Gwyneth has served as president of the Society for many years, and, whatever the disagreement, shouldn’t members of the Committee treat her with some basic respect and courtesy? What they did was not just rude, but also chillingly ungrateful.

  5. Jeremy Rowe says:

    As a former chair of the London Wagner Society, I am appalled at this treatment of Dame Gwyneth. I note:
    1. She is a world leader in terms of her portrayal of major Wagnerian roles, and she has an important and pivotal relationship with Bayreuth. She should be seen as a asset to the society.
    2. The London Society is the only Wagner Society in the world to cancel the Wagner Bursary Competition, a competition founded by Richard Wagner himself over 100 years ago. Their reason is ostensibly that it’s a waste of money. Past winners include many major stars – the bursary gave them an early filip to their career. Every winner I know of has always said it was an excellent experience – career changing for some. The current Wag Soc committee plan to spend the money giving local training to young singers – nothing wrong with that, but it should be in addition to the Bayreuth Bursary – not instead of. Cancelling the bursary eliminates the opportunity for young singers to be seen on a world platform.
    3. Dame Gywneth found out she is being treated this way from colleagues at Bayreuth who wanted to know what’s going on. When confronted, she had no idea what the London committee were doing.
    4. The committee are organising a vote of no confidence in themselves; but voters have to put their name on voting papers, and the votes will be received and counted by a member of the committee. Thus they’ll have a list of Dame Gwyneth supporters, ie, anyone voting against them. There will be no independent scrutiny of this voting process.
    5. As a former chair and long-time member of the committee, I have received numerous messages of support for Dame Gwyneth, and messages of outrage about the committee. The manner of the vote means that many members say they are hesitant to vote against the committee as the committee will then have a record of their vote.

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