PETER BASSETT chairing a Ring Symposium in Hamburg 2011, and at a Ring Conference, University of San Francisco.
A Weekend with the Ring at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 5-7 September 2003, organised by Peter Bassett and attracting an international audience, preceded the 2004 staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen by the State Opera of South Australia. Six years earlier, a similar Weekend, also organised by Peter Bassett, was held at the University of Adelaide on 26-28 September 1997 preceding the 1998 staging of the Ring.
Peter Bassett was born in Brisbane, Queensland. He graduated BA (Hons), MA, LLB from the University of Queensland with a particular interest in constitutional and international law, and was admitted to the Queensland and Commonwealth Bars. Subsequently, he graduated PhD from Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. He served in the Australian Army during National Service before taking up an appointment in the Australian Diplomatic Service. In a diplomatic career spanning two decades (1972-92), Peter served in Embassies and High Commissions in West and East Europe, Asia and the Pacific. He was Senior Foreign Affairs Representative in South Australia (1984-85). In the Foreign Affairs Department in Canberra, he became a specialist in international maritime law in the Asia-Pacific region, and he was the Department’s Deputy Legal Adviser (1990-92).
In 1992, Peter was appointed Official Secretary (Chief of Staff) to the Governor of South Australia, a position he held until 1999. He served under two Governors, whose responsibilities included patronage of the State Opera of South Australia. It was during this time that Peter was on the Boards of the State Opera and the State Opera Ring Corporation, and he became actively involved with the ‘Adelaide Wagner Decade’ for which he was awarded a Centenary Medal. The Adelaide Wagner initiative became the subject of his Doctorate, which was awarded 'with Academic Excellence' in 2016. He continues to write, lecture and broadcast widely on opera in general and the works of Richard Wagner in particular. He was Artistic Administrator and Dramaturg for the 2004 Adelaide production of Der Ring des Nibelungen (the first completely Australian production) and was closely associated with other Wagner productions in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne. He has published numerous books and articles, including for Opera Australia and other opera companies in Australia and overseas, and has led 40 opera tours around the world for the Sydney-based company Renaissance Tours. He has organised Wagner conferences in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, and has been a prominent speaker on Wagner's works in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.