'Wach' auf'. The chorus sung, in Hans Sachs honour in Act III of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. It is a modernization of the beginning of the poem 'Die Wittenbergisch Nachtigall', beginning 'Wach auff! es nahent gen dem tag', with which the historical Sachs greeted Luther and the Reformation.
Waechter, Eberhard (b Vienna, 9 July 1929; d Vienna, 29 Mar. 1992). Austrian baritone. Studied Vienna with Rado. Début Vienna, V (Silvio), 1953. Vienna, S, from 1954; London, CG, 1956, 1959; Bayreuth, 1958-9, 1962-3, 1966; New York, M, 1961. Also Gly.; Paris, O; Salzburg. A polished and versatile artist with a dark, seductive tone, successful as Don Giovanni, Mozart's Almaviva, Escamillo, Flying Dutchman, Wolfram, Amfortas, Orestes. Created III (Einem, Der Besuch der alten Dame). Intendant Vienna, V, 1986-92; S, 1991-2. (R)
Waffenschmied, Der (The Armourer). Opera in 3 acts by Lortzing; text by composer, after Ziegler Liebhaber und Nebenbuhler in einer Person ( 1790). Prem. Vienna, W, 30 May 1846.
Worms, 16th cent. The Count of Liebenau (bar) has fallen in love with Marie (sop), daughter of the armourer Stadinger (bs). He woos her in both his own person and as an apprentice smith, Conrad. When she tells the Count that she loves Conrad, he is triumphant, until rejected in both guises by Stadinger, who wants her to marry the Count's servant Georg (ten). When he refuses, Marie is given to Conrad, and all is revealed.
Wagenseil, Georg Christoph (b Vienna, 29 Jan. 1715; d Vienna, 1 Mar. 1777). Austrian composer. Active at the Viennese court from 1735, he composed c.13 dramatic works, including pasticcios, mostly for court festivities, the earliest of which was Ariodante ( 1745). In such works as La demenza di Tito ( 1746) and Vincislao ( 1750) he began to turn Viennese court opera away from the ponderous Baroque model of his teacher Fux towards something lighter and more graceful, reflecting above all the influence of the new 'style galant'.
Wagner, Cosima (b Bellaggio, 24 Dec. 1837; d Bayreuth, 1 Apr. 1930). Daughter of Liszt; married first Hans von Bülow ( 1857), then Wagner ( 1870), with whom she worked to establish Bayreuth. She was in charge of the festival 1883-1906, and responsible for the productions; in these, her aim was to ensure that Wagner's instructions continued to be followed, and she cultivated in the theatre and at Wahnfried a reverential attitude to Wagner that came to hinder the flow of new ideas which was also at the centre of his work. She rejected Appia, for instance, with the argument that Wagner's wishes were already completely known. However, while assuming a priestess role, she did make changes, with the assertion of her personal knowledge of Wagner's wishes. Accounts of her rehearsing suggest painstaking attention to detail, particularly of gesture and verbal inflection. She attempted to restrict Parsifal to Bayreuth, in accordance with Wagner's wish, and was unforgiving of artists who performed it elsewhere. Her diaries give a devoted, reverential, but not unobservant account of her life with Wagner; and there are glimpses in them of a character shyer and more vulnerable than the grande dame manner she later cultivated.
Wagner Johanna. (b Lohnde, 13 Oct. 1826; d Würzburg, 16 Oct. 1894). German soprano. Adopted daughter of Wagner's brother Albert ( 1799-1874), tenor and producer. Début Dresden 1844 (Agathe). Created Elisabeth ( Tannhäuser). Then studied Paris with Viardot. Hamburg 1849; Berlin, H, 1850-61; London, HM, 1856. Schwertleite and First Norn in first Ring. Roles included Tancredi, Lucrezia Borgia, Fidès, Ortrud. Possessed an 'incomparably beautiful' voice ( Wagner) and charming stage personality. But Wagner, who had hoped her to be his 'representative' (and indeed the first Brünnhilde), came to complain of her essentially vain and selfseeking nature.
Wagner, Richard (b Leipzig, 22 May 1813; d Venice, 13 Feb. 1883). German composer. Wagner's early interests were primarily dramatic, and his early musical studies were casual and frequently disrupted. His main