About the Northern Wagner Orchestra

The Northern Wagner Orchestra (NWO) was established in 2005 to provide musicians a rare opportunity of studying challenging and exciting orchestra repertoire.  NWO's inaugural event was a hugely successful weekend spent working on Das Rheingold, the first part of Wagner's magnificent Ring Cycle, and continued in 2006 with the second and perhaps best known opera of the series, Die Walküre, which includes the popular "Ride of the Valkyries".  The third part of the cycle, "Siegfried", was worked on in 2007, and the final part of the cycle, "Götterdämmerung", was completed in 2008, including for the first time a male chorus formed specially for the event.

2009 saw a change in repertoire with an ambitious programme of Wagner's "Wesendonck Lieder", Alban Berg's "Three Fragments from Wozzeck", and Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring", when the orchestra was joined by soprano Sarah Estill for another hugely successful weekend that attracted many new players to the orchestra.  For 2010 the orchestra will return to Wagner with a work-through of the wonderful romantic epic "Tristan and Isolde", a weekend that promises to be both exciting and challenging, and will include once more a full cast and a male chorus.

Professionals, students, teachers and other talented musicians will once more join together with young professional singers, specialising in Wagner repertoire, many of whom have already worked at the major opera houses including The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and the Beyreuth and Salzburg Festivals.

Musical Director / Conductor - Michael Williamson

Michael Williamson has been a freelance horn player for many years, active in the symphonic repertoire with the Sinfonia of Leeds, in the chamber repertoire with the Eldon Wind Quintet, and in the musical theatre.  As a conductor he was Associate Musical Director of the Sinfonia of Leeds for four years and is Musical Director of Leeds Youth Opera, the Leeds Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Opera in the City and the Century Brass.

He has conducted performances of over forty operas including The Magic Flute, The Tales of Hoffmann, I Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, Nabucco, Macbeth, The Pearl Fishers, Akhnaten, Koanga, Lakme, Peter Grimes and Turandot. Highlights include the British premieres of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha and The Voyage. He was recently voted by the Leeds Guide Magazine as one of the ‘movers and shakers’ of the Leeds musical scene. 

Wagner Tubas

 Wagner Tubas for hire!  We have a set of four Wagner Tubas available for hire.