Birmingham Opera to stage Wagner’s RhineGold

Published: 1 October 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Excited”: Birmingham Opera Company artistic director Graham Vick

Birmingham Opera Company has revealed it is to present Wagner’s RhineGold with an international cast and local volunteer performers in August 2021 in a disused metalworks in the city.

Audiences will get a “unique Brummie take” on the original myth of the forging of the golden ring and will move with the action, experiencing the opera by being part of it.

The company’s occupation of The Tubeworks in partnership with regeneration firm Urban Splash will start a new life for the currently empty industrial site which is to be transformed as part of a new, 43-acre urban development.

Birmingham Opera Company’s artistic director Graham Vick said, “I’m very excited that 30 years on from The Ring Saga we can now plan full-scale Wagner in Birmingham and cast gods, dwarves and giants largely from the diverse group of singers whom we’ve been nurturing.

“This revolutionary political satire is also a great showpiece for our new music director Alpesh Chauhan and for the marvellous CBSO. From the murky depths of the unconscious to self-serving promises of castles in the air and the voice of a planet facing its own destruction—it could’ve been written now.”

Chauhan added, “this work is a staple of the core operatic repertoire and I look forward to bringing Wagner's masterpiece to life alongside Graham Vick's imaginative brilliance.”

The cast will include Eric Greene (Wotan), Brenden Gunnell (Loge), Chrystal E Williams (Fricka), Francesca Chiejina (Freia), Amar Muchhala (Froh), Byron Jackson (Donner), Gweneth-Ann Rand (Erda), Ross Ramgobin (Alberich), Keel Watson (Fasolt) and Andrew Slater (Fafner).

Dates for the production will be announced later.