‘Reginald Goodall became a Wagner coach of wondrous detail and charisma who, in the last third of his life, was finally given the chance to translate this knowledge into some telling interpretations in the theatre and on record. Great affection, a wry sense of humour, and many, many hours of rehearsing were uppermost in the memories of a panel of singers, administrators, a conductor and a biographer gathered to celebrate Reginald Goodall's career.
The title of the event referred not just to Wotan's godly abode but to the nickname of a tiny cleaner's room way up at the back of the Royal Opera House amphitheatre. It was here, from the early 1950s to just before his death in 1990 that "Reggie" did the great part of his one-on-one Wagner coaching. The numerous artists he worked with included Jon Vickers, Donald MacIntyre, Yvonne Minton, John Tomlinson, Gwynne Howell, Anne Evans, Linda Esther Gray, Johanna Meier, all his ENO and WNO casts and several bakers' dozens of Rhinedaughters, Valkyries and Flowermaidens.
The second half of the event was devoted to a showing of panel chairman Humphrey Burton's 1984 Omnibus programme. It drew revealing comments, not least from Joan Cross (who was instrumental in bringing Goodall to Sadlers Wells Opera in 1944, where he would conduct her as Ellen in the world premiere of Peter Grimes). After hearing a supposed rationale for Covent Garden's neglect of Goodall as conductor, Cross just looked straight into camera and commented, "Rubbish!"
At ENO and WNO the orchestras welcomed the unaccustomed attention of his lengthy sectional rehearsals and, with all the hard work done in the studio, played their hearts out for him in the pit.’