Wagner's Ring in full comes to Surrey

Published: 21 May 2024
Reporter: Vera Liber

The Ring Cycle

Starting in 2026, Grange Park Opera will stage the complete Ring Cycle over four successive years.

Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen starts in 2026 with Das Rheingold, followed by Die Walküre (2027), Siegfried (2028) and finishing with Götterdämmerung in 2029.

The Ring Cycle will be directed and designed by Charles Edwards, and conductors will include Anthony Negus.

Das Rheingold will open with David Stout as the dwarf Alberich, stealing the gold to rule the world. James Rutherford will portray Wotan, ruler of the Gods, married to the Fricka of Christine Rice. Her sister Freia is played by Rachel Nicholls, who will play Brünnhilde for the remainder of the cycle. The cast is completed by Matthew Rose and David Shipley as the giants, outsmarted by Nicky Spence as Loge, the god of Fire.

Edwards said, “around 1980, I would visit my local library to borrow LPs: G&S, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rigoletto… and then I heard scenes from The Ring. What was this? I became obsessed with Wagner and for 40 years, I’ve never stopped listening to it, thinking about it, dreaming up productions, imagining casts. I’ve listened to every great conductor plying his Wagnerian trade.”

Founder of Grange Park Opera Wasfi Kani said, “we’ve been trying out Wagner for some time now—in our acoustic, in our pit and in audience reaction. Emboldened by the success of Die Walküre (2017), Flying Dutchman (2022) and Tristan & Isolde (2023), we took a deep collective breath and decided the time is ripe for the biggest challenge of all: his Ring Cycle. It is a hugely exciting development that we hope will move us to the next level of recognition. So, buckle up, Wagnerians!”

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