English National Opera announces new staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle

Directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Martyn Brabbins, The Valkyrie will form the first part of a complete Ring Cycle over the next five years.

English National Opera (ENO) is to bring Wagner’s Ring Cycle to the London Coliseum, starting with The Valkyrie this Autumn, subject to any further lockdown restrictions. Directed by the award-winning Richard Jones, and marking the first time in more than 15 years since ENO last staged The Ring, all four parts of The Ring Cycle will be staged at the London Coliseum over five years. Rhinegold will premiere in 2022/23 followed by a reprise of The Valkyrie, and new productions of Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods in 2024 and 2025 consecutively. The Metropolitan Opera is co-producing.

Featuring some of Wagner’s best-known music – including the soaring ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ – Richard Jones’ The Valkyrie will be an unparalleled theatrical experience, which will plunge the audience into a thunderous storm of human emotion. Jones – who has won 8 Olivier Awards and has had a long and enduring relationship with the ENO – will direct an incredible cast who will rehearse in Covid-secure bubbles. Martyn Brabbins, ENO’s Music Director, will conduct the award-winning ENO Orchestra. The production will be designed by Stewart Laing; with Adam Silverman as Lighting Designer, Sarah Fahie as Movement Director and Akhila Krishnan as Video Designer. ENO have commissioned a new English language translation from John Deathridge.

Annilese Miskimmon, Artistic Director, ENO said: ‘It is thrilling to announce this new ENO Ring Cycle, starting with Valkyrie this Autumn. Richard Jones’s theatrical vision is designed to be emotionally and narratively gripping both for long-time Wagner-lovers and for those seeing this amazing opera for the first time. This epic story of a rebellious warrior maiden who defies the gods in defense of humanity combines myth with modernity alongside some of the most powerful and recognisable operatic music ever written. An unmissable experience for opera lovers old and new, we are delighted to welcome them all to the London Coliseum to join us at the beginning of this Wagner journey through the complete Ring over the next 5 years.’

Richard Jones, Director, said: ‘The Ring feels extraordinarily of the twenty-first century yet mythological at the same time. How can love and empathy exist in a world of vaulting egos vying for infinite power? Produced by two of the worlds’ great opera companies I can’t imagine a more pertinent operatic response to the times we find ourselves in.’

Stuart Murphy, CEO, English National Opera said: ‘There is no greater mark of ENO’s ambition than to stage Wagner’s Ring Cycle as we return to the London Coliseum stage following the pandemic. It is fantastic to be doing so with the brilliant Richard Jones. We can’t wait to welcome those new to Wagner into ENO’s auditorium and take them on an unforgettable and thrilling journey.’

Martyn Brabbins, Music Director, ENO said: ‘Innovation and vibrant theatricality will be front and centre of the new ENO Ring Cycle. 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.’