Committee

Committee

richardRichard Miles, Chairman
Richard Miles read Law at Cambridge University and was called to the Bar in 1981 before pursuing a career in Finance.  He currently works in Corporate Banking.  He is married with three children and lives in Blechingley, Surrey.  He has been a member of the Wagner Society for about 6 years; on the Committee since 2011; and was elected Chairman at the AGM in 2012 – for which he has no professional or academic qualifications whatsoever, apart from common sense and a strictly amateur love of Richard Wagner’s musical dramas.

He is a keen gardener, likes walking, collects antique glass, buys art when finance & wall space permit, reads mainly historical and scientific books, and is a qualified deer-stalker.

 

Vacant,  Secretary

 

 

imageNeil King , Treasurer
Originally from East Anglia, Neil King attended King’s College London graduating in 1986 in Computing with Mathematics and with the AKC. Subsequently, he trained as an accountant and then held posts in several London-based multi-national companies’ treasury departments.   For the last eighteen years, he has been the Group Treasurer of Dixons Carphone PLC (formerly Carphone Warehouse Group plc).

The first – live – opera he saw was Salome at the ENO in 1987 and the second, at Covent Garden in the same year, was Das Rheingold whereupon a love of Strauss (R) and Wagner was born, resulting in 1993, in the first of many visits to Bayreuth. A regular visitor to Munich, Vienna and Glyndebourne, he also enjoys works by Janacek, Britten, Philip Glass and other twentieth century composers.

Aside from opera, he enjoys cooking, wine and entertaining: the Wagner Society Christmas Party has been held at his Islington house for the last three years where his signature fish pie is always eagerly devoured by members whilst sampling wine from his extensive cellar..

 

 

 

raymond

Raymond Godson, Committee Member

Raymond joined the Committee of the WS following his co-option at the AGM on 18 May 2016. He edited four editions of Wagner News in 2016 and 2017 before handing this role to Katie Clay and, subsequently, Alan Ridgewell.

His first encounter with Wagner was the Decca Solti recording of the Ring and his first opera was Don Carlos with Christoff, Gobbi, Bumbry et al for 12 shillings in the old gods at Covent Garden. He was prevented from visiting Bayreuth for the third time when he fell out of a tree. Favourite Rings were Goodall at ENO and Gergiev at the Albert Hall followed closely by the 2013 Melbourne performance (Skelton as Siegmund!)

He worked for Rio Tinto for 16 years and is now a practising chartered accountant specialising in oil exploration although in earlier days the Bonynges were clients.

 

geoffrey

Geoffrey Griffiths, Archivist
An opera and Wagner lover since his youth, Geoffrey’s first opera at the Royal Opera House was Das Rheingold in 1951, his first visit to Bayreuth was in 1984 & he has now made the pilgrimage to Bayreuth 11 times.  In 1975 he joined the Wagner Society; was invited to join the committee in early1986 and later that year took over the job of Programme Director, a fascinating role which lasted for eight years.

 

Alan Ridgewell, Editor, Wagner News

Alan has a first class honours degree in Opera Studies and is currently preparing to begin a PhD in operatic performance semantics and aesthetics, and directorial practice. Having worked in support and development for the last 15 years for a global software company, he has also worked as a director, actor and singer.  He has a bad back after having to carry Kim Begley across a stage, when he mistimed picking him up. Alan joined the Committee in August 2017 and has edited Wagner News since the start of 2018.

 

 

 

Henry Kennedy, Events Secretary

 

Meli Hatzihrysidis, Marketing, Secretary

 

Izzy Pitman, Committee Member

Born in Norfolk, Izzy is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Music at the University of Oxford. She is president of the Oxford Opera Society and is currently in the process of founding the National Student Opera Society.  As an aspiring soprano, Izzy has participated in masterclasses with renowned professionals including: Stephen Langridge, Susan Bullock and Robin Bowman. Whilst at Oxford, she has performed multiple roles with New Chamber Opera and sang roles ranging from Purcell to (predominantly) atonal contemporary opera for other companies.  Izzy is a avid fan of Birgit Nilsson and her prized possession is a signed excerpt of ‘Vissi d’arte’ written out by Ms Nilsson herself.  Outside her operatic pursuits, Izzy is a (very) amateur ballerina and figure skater. Izzy is on a, somewhat difficult, mission to interest young people in the work of Wagner!