The English National Opera presents new production of Wagner’s The Rhinegold

Opens Saturday 18 February 2023 at the London Coliseum (8 performances)

Under 21s can get free opera tickets to all ENO performances at every level of the theatre, and 21-35 year olds can get discounted opera tickets. Tickets for everyone begin at £10.

The Rhinegold

Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

Libretto by Richard Wagner

Translation by John Deathridge

Director, Richard Jones

Conductor, Martyn Brabbins

This February comes The Rhinegold, the first opera in Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle, a radical political satire entrenched in magic and mythology. This new production follows Richard Jones’s 2021’s ‘powerful and original’ (Evening Standard) production of The Valkyrie, sung in English in a new translation by John Deathridge.

From stolen gold, an all-powerful ring is forged, setting in motion an epic tussle of greed. Mythical beings and deities clash over the ring, with the fate of multiple worlds in the balance. In this struggle between good and evil, chaos and bad behaviour reign supreme.

Directing is the multi award-winning opera and theatre director, Richard Jones CBE. The internationally renowned director has worked with the Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne, Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, and Teatro alla Scala, as well as directing theatre in the West End and on Broadway. An eight-time Olivier Award-winner, Jones has a long-standing relationship with the ENO, with work including the 5-star production of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg in 2015.

‘Ever-masterly’ (The Arts Desk) Music Director of the ENO Martyn Brabbins re-joins Jones as the conductor of the award-winning ENO Orchestra – expanded to 89 musicians – leading them in Wagner’s imposing score.

Reprising their partnership following last season’s The Valkyrie, Jones is joined by Costume and Set Designer Stewart Laing, Choreographer Sarah Fahie, Video Designer Akhila Krishnan, and Lighting Designer Adam Silverman. The translation is by John Deathridge.

With outstanding stage presence, Canadian bass-baritone John Relyea makes his ENO debut as Wotan, mighty ruler of the gods, bringing his ‘powerfully affecting’ voice to this esteemed role. His established international career has seen him perform at many of the world’s most celebrated opera houses around the world, including over 240 performances at the Metropolitan Opera.

British baritone and former ENO Young Singer Leigh Melrose, ‘one of the great character singers’ (Opera Today) makes a welcome return to the stage where he made his professional debut. He sings Alberich, a role he most recently performed at Staatsoper Stuttgart in 2021 and at the Ruhrtriennale in 2015. He has performed at opera houses including Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Real and Opéra national de Paris.

Grammy-winning American tenor Frederick Ballentine makes a role debut as Loge. His second ENO engagement of the season, this role follows a ‘standout’ (The Times) performance as George Bailey in 2022’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and roles as Nick in 2022’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Sporting Life in 2019’s Porgy & Bess, a role he has also performed at the Metropolitan Opera.

Fricka, wife of Wotan is sung by British mezzo-soprano and former ENO Harewood Artist Madeleine Shaw, bringing her ‘singing of the highest quality’ (Bachtrack) back to the ENO following 2022’s roles in The Cunning Little Vixen (Forester’s Wife/Owl) and The Handmaid’s Tale (Rita).

Making her ENO debut is British soprano Katie Lowe as Freia, sister of Fricka. With multiple Wagner roles to her name, Lowe recently made ‘a notably brilliant contribution’ (Bachtrack) as Helmwige to Longborough Festival Opera’s Die Walküre in 2021.

One of British opera’s leading voices, the ‘electrifyingly vivid’ (The Telegraph) mezzo-soprano Christine Rice MBE sings Erda, following a five-star performance as Elizabeth I in the recent concert of Britten’s Gloriana at the London Coliseum.

British tenor and current ENO Harewood Artist John Findon sings Mime, Alberich’s brother. This is his second role with the company this season after 2022’s Spoletta in Tosca.

The giants, Fafner and Fasolt are sung by American bass James Creswell and British bass-baritone Simon Bailey. American baritone Blake Denson, winner of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, makes his ENO debut as Donner and British tenor Julian Hubbard is Froh.

The cast is completed by current and former ENO Harewood Artists as the Rhinemaidens: British soprano Eleanor Dennis as Woglinde; German mezzo-soprano Idunnu Münch as Wellgunde; and British mezzo-soprano Katie Stevenson Flosshilde.  

The Rhinegold opens on Saturday 18 February 2023 at 19.30 at the London Coliseum for 8 performances: Feb 18, 21, 23 & Mar 1, 8, 10 at 19.30. Mar 4 at 18.30. Feb 26 at 15.00.

The signed performance is on Wednesday 8 March at 19.30.

Tickets start from £10 (plus booking fee)*

*£2.25 booking fee applies to online and telephone bookings