Peter Bassett graduated BA (Hons), MA, LLB from Queensland University (and was admitted to the Queensland and Commonwealth Bars), and PhD from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. He was a Guest Lecturer in the 2021 Lisa Gasteen National Opera Program and a Sessional Lecturer at QCGU in 2010. In association with the Conservatorium, he coordinated a symposium on Das Rheingold in 2012 during a visit to Brisbane by Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Simone Young.
He was Dramaturg and Artistic Administrator for the 2004 Adelaide production of Der Ring des Nibelungen (for which he was awarded a Centenary Medal) and was closely involved with SOSA productions of the Ring of 1998, Parsifal of 2001 and Der fliegende Holländer of 2009. He gave twelve pre-performance talks for each of the 1998 and 2004 Rings and organised Ring conferences in 1997 and 2003 in Adelaide and 2016 in Melbourne. He contributes regularly to program booklets for opera and record companies in Australia and abroad (on the works of numerous composers), has published widely on Wagner’s works, has recorded talks on the Ring for Decca, and has lectured in Europe, North America and throughout Australia and New Zealand. Since 2001 he has led some 40 international opera tours for the Sydney-based company Renaissance Tours. He is President of the Wagner Society in Queensland and an Honorary Member of the Finnish Wagner Society, one of the largest in the world.
For two decades Peter served in the Australian Diplomatic Service in West and East Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, including as High Commissioner, and was Deputy Legal Adviser in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra. He was appointed Official Secretary (Chief of Staff) to two Governors of South Australia between 1992 and 1999.