FIRST NIGHT | OPERA
Die Walküre review — Britain’s thriftiest Ring Cycle marches on
Freemasons’ Hall, WC2
The Ring being forged by Regents Opera at the heart of the West End is set to overtake the Wagner cycle down the road begun by English National Opera in 2021. ENO’s Siegfried next year is officially “postponed”, but the cycle must sadly be presumed stillborn. Fortunately for Regents Opera, its Ring — staged on a minimal budget, with a reduced scoring overseen by the conductor Ben Woodward — is not tied to the whims of Arts Council England. A circle of Wagner-loving donors have stumped up to make the magic happen and full cycles are scheduled for autumn 2024.
After last year’s zany but energising Rheingold, this Walküre is not as seamless an experience. Woodward has picked up a few more instrumentalists