We need your support to create an extensive DVD lecture exploring the revolutionary music of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung, given by Maestro Asher Fisch, a veteran conductor of many performances of the Ring including the famed Seattle Opera Company cycle, as well as being Principal Conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) and one of the permanent conductors of the Bayerische Staatsoper.
This lecture will show, from a musical point of view, how Wagner constructed the Ring, ie the nitty-gritty of how he operated as a composer, how he was revolutionary, and why his music is so good. Asher's goal is to impart the detailed understanding of Wagner's music that comes from years of conducting it, to enrich your appreciation of Wagner's operas.
The set of lectures will be filmed in the second half of 2016 live in the concert hall of WASO in Perth, Australia, with the full symphony orchestra on stage to play musical examples to illustrate Asher's points.
Campaign Target: £80,000
Amount Raised: £35,460 (as of March 18th, 2016)
Amount Needed: £44,540
To make this film, we need to raise money for many expenses – we need to pay all the musicians in the symphony orchestra, we need to pay the camera crew, an editor, and for the design and manufacture of the finished product.
That's why we're crowdfunding. Please help us make this film by prebuying the DVD – this means that you give us your support now, and then we send you the DVD when it is ready in 2016.
We will keep you informed as the project goes through production with a regular e-newsletter.
Your support means that we will have the financial resources to make this very special film that will increase your, and many other people's understanding of Wagner's music. There are various levels of support you can give, and various perks available. Please help us as much as you can.
At this point we are particularly keen to secure larger donations and investment as this is critical to the success of our campaign.
If for whatever reason we are unable to make the DVD, you will receive a full refund minus any paypal expenses.
Wagner's Ring: a Musical Guide DVD: £29.50
DVD by post as soon as it is released, plus regular updates from e-newsletter.
Recognised Subscriber: £95
DVD, e-newsletter, plus be listed in the film credits and DVD booklet.
Free ticket to be in the lecture audience as we film on December 11th, 2015 – for all those who can come to Perth, Australia.
Gold Recognised Sunscriber: £195
DVD, e-newsletter, plus be listed as a Gold Recognised Subscriber.
Plus receive a free copy of Asher Fisch's Wagner/Liszt piano transcriptions CD worth £15.
Screener (ideal for Wagner societies): £495
DVD, e-newsletter, be listed in credits, plus be able to host a public screening of the film and charge admission.
Lecture ticket plus meet and greet with presenter Asher Fisch and producer/director Will Fraser if you can be in Perth on December 11th, 2015.
Plus Wagner piano CD.
Plus CD – Highlights of the Ring of the Nibelung, conducted by Asher Fisch, worth £15.
DVD, e-newsletter, screener, plus named as Patron.
Lecture ticket plus meet and greet with Asher Fisch and Will Fraser.
Plus Wagner piano CD and Highlights of The Ring CD.
Plus receive an annual subscription to Opera Magazine worth £65.50 (if you are already subscribed, we will pay for your next year's subscription).
Gold Patron: £1,450
DVD, e-newsletter, screener, plus named as Gold Patron.
Lecture ticket plus meet and greet with Asher Fisch and Will Fraser.
Plus Wagner piano CD and highlights of The Ring CD.
Plus annual subscription to Opera Magazine.
Plus 4 volume, 14 compact disc set of Asher Fisch's complete recording of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung, with the State Opera of South Australia and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, worth £150.
We are also seeking investors who wish to put in larger sums of money, which they would make back plus interest if the film is financially successful.
Please email Will Fraser at email@example.com if you would like to support the film in the following ways:
Co-Producer: £10,000 - £20,000 (up to 4 available)
Executive Producer: £20,000 or more (up to 2 available)
What will the DVD include?
Asher Fisch will write and present the filmed lecture, and will offer expert musical analysis, points of interpretation and historical detail both from the piano and by conducting the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
The set of lectures will be in five sections: Form – Sound – Motive – Rhythm – Aesthetics. In each of these areas, Asher will show precisely how Wagner revolutionised all the existing components of opera, and invented more.
The lecture is aimed at an audience who know and love Wagner – expect to be informed, entertained, exhilarated, and to understand the music of the Ring, and Wagner's genius, on a deeper level.
Who are we?
Asher Fisch is best known to Wagnerians as the conductor of the Seattle Opera's famed Wagner Ring Cycle in summer 2013, which is one of two Rings conducted by Fisch available on CD. Fisch is also a sought-after lecturer about music, and it is the combination of his skills as conductor and communicator which makes him the perfect man to elucidate the complexities of Wagner's music.
A seasoned conductor in both the operatic and symphonic worlds, Asher Fisch is especially celebrated for his interpretative command of core German and Italian repertoire of the Romantic and post-Romantic era, in particular Wagner, Brahms, Strauss, and Verdi. Asher also conducts a wide variety of other repertoire from Gluck to contemporary works, and serves as an advocate of living composers such as Avner Dorman and others. Formerly Music Director of the New Israeli Opera (1998-2008), and the Wiener Volksoper (1995-2000), he is currently one of the conductors at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. In 2014, Asher became the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO).
Asher Fisch says: “This musical guide is an opportunity for me to share the experience and insight I have gleaned from years of study and from conducting performances of Wagner's operas all over the world. People know that Wagner is a great genius, but I will show you specifically how he used his genius to change the history of music.”
The award-winning company FUGUE STATE FILMS has won the Deutschen Schallplattenkritikpreis three times, as well as “best documentary” in the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014 for The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll, the biggest ever crowd-funded film about classical music.
This was reviewed as “magnificent” in the Sunday Telegraph, was DVD of the month in both BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone, and earned an 8 page feature in Fono Forum. Fugue State specialises in making films about classical music released in luxuriant box-sets made to the highest technical and intellectual standards, and is a pioneer of innovative distribution strategies and crowd-funding. Among their other releases, Fugue State's recording of and documentary about Bach's Art of Fugue was reviewed in Gramophone as “the finest recording of the Art of Fugue irrespective of media or instrument.”
Will Fraser of Fugue State Films says: “Our DVDs have become known throughout the world for their high quality and fascinating content. For our first opera DVD we want to make a landmark production that will delight and inform audiences and increase their understanding and enjoyment of Wagner's music.”
OPERA is the world's leading opera magazine. Described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘the bible of the industry', OPERA has been the world's leading commentator on the lyric stage for over 60 years. It was founded in 1950 by the late Lord Harewood, and since then has provided unrivalled coverage of events through a mixture of features, reviews (live performances, recordings, books) and analysis, plus monthly listings of events worldwide and our famous ‘We hear that' section. Our long-standing editors – Harold Rosenthal, Rodney Milnes and (since 2000) John Allison – have ensured continuity, and our editorial board includes many of the most distinguished opera critics from Britain's national newspapers. Though London-based, the magazine has an unrivalled network of international correspondents, covering performances from around the globe.
John Allison, editor of Opera Magazine, says: “Asher Fisch is one of the most lucid and knowledgeable conductors working today – he combines artistry with intellect and is the perfect guide to the extraordinary soundscape of Wagner's Ring. This DVD will fill a gap in the market place – there are plenty of filmed opera performances, and several documentaries about Wagner the man, but nothing much about his craft as a composer, from a musicological perspective.”