Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have been meticulously building up their Ring cycle with one opera a season over the last four years. The announcement that there would be two complete cycles in 2021 was naturally greeted with much excitement. The project marks Jurowski’s final season as principal conductor of the LPO, before becoming its conductor emeritus and assuming a new role as music director at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.
Jurowski’s Ring has been acclaimed for its flawless pacing and its sensitivity to the dramatic action. One advantage of a semi-staging such as this, where the orchestra is placed onstage, is that the ravishing textures of Wagner’s multi-faceted score can be savoured to the full.
The star-studded cast includes Torsten Kerl as Siegfried, Burkhard Fritz as Siegmund, and Ruxandra Donose as Sieglinde, with Derek Welton and Matthew Rose taking the role of Wotan respectively in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, and the role of Brünnhilde shared between Svetlana Sozdateleva, Elena Pankratrova and Lise Lindstrom. No less keenly anticipated are portrayals of some of the other roles, notably Patricia Bardon as Erda, Brindley Sherratt as Hunding and Allan Clayton as Froh.
The tour is based at a Marriott hotel in one of London’s iconic buildings, the former County Hall across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament. It is just a few minutes on foot to the RFH.
The tour begins at the hotel at 3.45pm with a talk, followed by an early dinner. Walk to the Royal Festival Hall for Das Rheingold (7.00pm): London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski (as throughout), Alina Adamski (Woglinde), Elizabeth Atherton (Wellgunde), Angharad Lyddon (Flosshilde), Robert Hayward (Alberich), Derek Welton (Wotan), Kai Rüütel (Fricka), Iwona Sobotka (Freia), Andrii Goniukov (Fasolt), Andrew Harris (Fafner), Christian Elsner (Loge), Allan Clayton (Froh), Boris Pinkhasovich (Donner), Adrian Thompson (Mime).
In the morning there is a walk with expert guide Sophie Campbell to explore the fascinating Southbank neighbourhood. Die Walküre (4.00pm): Burkhard Fritz (Siegmund), Ruxandra Donose (Sieglinde), Brindley Sherratt (Hunding), Svetlana Sozdateleva (Brünnhilde), Matthew Rose (Wotan), Kai Rüütel (Fricka), Sinéad Campbell-Wallace (Helmwige), Natalya Romaniw (Gerhilde), Gabriela Istoc (Ortlinde), Claire Barnett-Jones (Waltraute), Wallis Giunta (Rossweisse), Angela Simkin (Siegrune), Rachael Lloyd (Grimgerde), Claudia Huckle (Schwertleite).
Sunday, free morning and evening. Guided visits in the afternoon are being planned.
Free morning. Siegfried (4.00pm): Torsten Kerl (Siegfried), James Rutherford (The Wanderer), Elena Pankratova (Brünnhilde), Adrian Thompson (Mime), Robert Hayward (Alberich), Andrew Harris (Fafner), Alina Adamski (Voice of the Forest Bird).
A series of special arrangments are in preparation for this day (some journeys by tube, the Jubilee Line). Free evening.
Free morning. Götterdämmerung (3.00pm): Torsten Kerl (Siegfried), Lise Lindstrom (Brünnhilde), Brindley Sherratt (Hagen), Stephen Gadd (Gunther), Anna Samuil (Gutrune), Robert Hayward (Alberich), Kai Rüütel (Waltraute), Angharad Lyddon (Flosshilde, 1st Norn), Wallis Giunta (2nd Norn), Elizabeth Atherton (Wellgunde, 3rd Norn), Alina Adamski (Woglinde).
The tour finishes after breakfast.
Writer, lecturer and broadcaster specialising in Wagner. He is founder/editor of The Wagner Journal and author of eight books on Wagner including The Wagner Compendium and Richard Wagner: The Sorcerer of Bayreuth. He is Chief Critic for the Evening Standard. He has also acted as dramaturgical adviser at opera houses internationally.
Price, per person
Two sharing: £3,390. Single occupancy: £3,990.
Hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners, with wine; all admissions; tips for restaurant staff, drivers and guides; all taxes; the services of the tour manager throughout, and the lecturer on days 1, 2, 4 and 6.
First category tickets in rows R, S and T of the front stalls (the back three rows, stage-right) for 4 performances are included, costing £450. Performances are semi-staged.
Marriott County Hall, London: located at the end of the Southbank with an entrance on Westminster Bridge Road, a short walk away from the Royal Festival Hall. Please contact us if you would like to upgrade to a river view. Single rooms are doubles for sole use.
Visits require a fair amount of walking and standing around. There are some late nights but starts are leisurely.
The tour will operate with between 10 and 22 participants.