The Valkyrie is the first of the four operas in Wagner's Ring cycle, to be staged over five years by ENO. Casting is yet to be announced, but with many outstanding British singers grounded by Brexit restrictions on working in Europe, we can look forward to some big names. Tenor Nicky Spence is among many singers associated with English National Opera who have a strong Wagner track record.
It is more than 15 years since ENO last staged The Ring. Rhinegold will premiere in 2022/23 followed by a reprise of The Valkyrie. Then come new productions of Siegfried in 2024, and Twilight of the Gods in 2025. And ENO is in good company: the Metropolitan Opera of New York is co-producing, guaranteeing very high production standards.
The innovative director Richard Jones, with eight Olivier awards under his belt, will be presiding over the whole cycle. ENO audiences will remember his outstanding and intensely moving production of Wagner's Die Meistersinger in 2015.
'The Ring feels extraordinarily of the 21st century yet mythological at the same time,' says Jones. 'How can love and empathy exist in a world of vaulting egos vying for infinite power? ... I can’t imagine a more pertinent operatic response to the times we find ourselves in.'
Tenor Nicky Spence has sung a number of Wagner roles, and has a long association with English National Opera. Photo: Raphaelle
ENO’s music director Martyn Brabbins will conduct the indefatigable ENO Orchestra and Chorus. 'Innovation and vibrant theatricality will be front and centre of the new ENO Ring Cycle ,' he says.
'With meticulous musical preparation and a cast of the very best singing actors we will bring Wagner’s extraordinary music vividly and beautifully to life. Our aim is to create as powerful, as immediate and as moving an experience as Wagner imagined.'
ENO, which sings in English as part of its mission to open out opera to all, has commissioned a new English language translation from Wagner expert and musicologist John Deathridge. Rehearsals will begin in Covid-secure bubbles: the large scale of the works rather well with social distancing...
The Ring will be designed by Stewart Laing; with Adam Silverman as lighting designer, Sarah Fahie as movement director and Akhila Krishnan as video designer.
Says Annilese Miskimmon, artistic director of ENO: 'This epic story of a rebellious warrior maiden who defies the gods in defence of humanity combines myth with modernity alongside some of the most powerful and recognisable operatic music ever written.'
The Ring is sung in English, with English surtitles. It is in repertoire at English National Opera from autumn 2021 to 2025. Watch Culture Whisper for updates on booking details
|What||The Ring, English National Opera|
|Where||English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|