The Richard Wagner Society of the Upper Midwest

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Twenty-First Annual Founders Day Dinner

  • 15 Sep 2019
  • 4:00 PM
  • Black Forest Inn


  • Member in good standing for 2019 (must have paid membership dues in full for calendar year 2019)
  • If you have not paid membership dues for calendar year 2019, and do not wish to become a member at this time, please select this "Non-Member" registration type.

Registration is closed

Twentieth Annual Founders Day Dinner
Sunday September 15th
4:00 – 7:30 PM
The Black Forest Inn
1 East 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Parking in back; Off street parking available

Please join us for our 21st Annual Founders Day Dinner of The Richard Wagner Society of the Upper Midwest, featuring a music program with pianist Lara Bolton, tenor Dennis Petersen, and soprano Karin Wolverton.

You must purchase a ticket by Thursday, September 12 to attend.

Walk-ins cannot be accommodated. The ticket price includes the program and pre-program wine and appetizers. After the performance, attendees may order dinner at their own cost from the menu options listed below.

$25 RWSUM members & their guests
$35 Non-members

Tickets may be purchased online --  Reservations are not accepted by phone.

Non-members may join RWSUM now to take advantage of the member rate at this and other RWSUM events. Please review (URL TBD) for membership categories and rates.

We hope you will join us for a spectacular Wagnerian evening!

4:00 Socializing—wine and appetizers
4:15 Business meeting—election of officers
4:30 Remarks by RWSUM President David Cline and discussion
4:45 Music program with Lara Bolton, Karin Wolverton, and Dennis Petersen
5:15 Dinner--See menu options below
7:30 Event ends

We are very happy that three distinguished local artists have agreed to perform a program of Wagner compositions, to be announced. The Black Forest Inn has a new, freshly-tuned piano that will bring the music to life!

Lara Bolton, pianist

Lara Bolton is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach. As such, she has been engaged at many companies including the Guthrie Theater, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Colorado, West Bay Opera, and Amarillo Opera. Ms. Bolton joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota as a vocal coach in 2016. She additionally serves as chorus master and principal pianist for Mill City Summer Opera and is a master coach for Minnesota Opera. Ms. Bolton also maintains an active recital and recording career in both vocal and instrumental repertoire. She enjoys collaborating in many different musical and artistic genres, and is particularly drawn towards socially relevant projects.

Ms. Bolton is a former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and has been a Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist for the Washington National Opera. She also helped develop a Young Artist Program for Opera Santa Barbara. In addition to having been a pianist for the Merola Opera Program, she has also worked at the Music Academy of the West, Brevard Music Festival, and Interlochen Arts Camp. As a graduate alumna of Interlochen Arts Academy, she received a Bachelor of Music Theory degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the University of Maryland-College Park.

Dennis Petersen, tenor

Tenor Dennis Petersen is a tremendously respected character tenor, performing over one hundred roles during his extensive career, such as Father Greenville in Dead Man Walking, which he sang at the opera’s New York City premiere; Mime in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried, which he performed to great acclaim with Seattle Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera; and Herod in Salome which he sang with major opera companies such as San Francisco Opera. Mr. Petersen also sang the role of the School Master in the Japanese Tour of Cunning Little Vixen with the Saito Kinen Festival, returning there to sing Goro in Madama Butterfly. Mr. Petersen has repeatedly lent his strong interpretations to other major character roles such as Monostatos in The Magic Flute and Bob Boles and the title role in Peter Grimes. Additionally, Mr. Petersen’s performances in Mahagonny with the Spoleto Festival USA met great success.

Mr. Petersen is also an avid performer of musical theater and contemporary opera, as indicated by his success at Opera Theatre Saint Louis in The Grapes of Wrath, a show he reprises at Michigan Opera Theater this season. Mr. Petersen sang the role of Beadle in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera, was part of Minnesota Opera’s production of A Handmaid’s Tale and Spoleto Festival USA’s production of Amistad, as well as New York City Opera’s production of Lizzie Borden.

Mr. Petersen has built a strong relationship with the best opera houses around the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, returning there often to perform in operas such as War and Peace, Turandot, Die Fledermaus, Wozzeck, The Nose, Der Rosenkavalier, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Le Nozze di Figaro, Lulu, The Merry Widow, Les contes d’Hoffman and many more.

Karin Wolverton, soprano

 Minnesota native Karin Wolverton enjoys a successful career on both the concert and opera stage. A frequent guest of Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera, she also performs throughout the United States and is a frequent recitalist performing with many local concert series. Favorite roles include Micaela from Carmen, Donna Anna from Don Giovanni and Mimi from La Boheme. Next season finds her with two new role debuts: Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with Santa Barbara Opera and Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Madison Opera, a company debut as well. This fall Ms. Wolverton will reprise the role of Anna for Minnesota Opera’s remount of Silent Night and sing Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock with The Hill House Players. Ever a champion of new works, she will also participate in workshops surrounding Minnesota Opera’s new commission of an opera based on Kate DiCamillo’s book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

The Black Forest Inn offers the following dinner options to our attendees. Place your order before the music program.

Stuffed Squash (meatless option): Half acorn squash filled with wild rice pilaf and served with a green salad ($12.00)

Sausage sampler: Three different sausages with potato salad ($16.00), two weisswurst with rye bread ($12.00) or one sausage with potato salad ($9.00).

Sauerbraten: Large portion ($22.50) or small portion ($12.50).

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