Mastodon ENO announce 2013 season, but Wagner's bicentenary will not be noted - The Wagnerian

ENO announce 2013 season, but Wagner's bicentenary will not be noted

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 26 April 2012 | 12:41:00 am

ENO have announced their 2013 season but surprisingly,  while marking Britten's centenary and Verdi's bicentenary, they may be one of the only major opera houses not staging Wagner. Why? Says artistic director John Berry: "The problem [with Wagner] is finding the right singers who can sing it in English," Although this doesn't seem to have stopped them attempting the Dutchman premiering this Saturday or indeed the recent successful Parsifal. More tellingly perhaps, Berry went onto note that staging Wagner was "cost prohibitive".

This seems surprising, given the amount of public funding ENO receives (£17,078,058 in 2013) which places them fourth in the list of UK arts  organisations receiving public funding.) More so, when one considers that Opera North and Welsh National Opera (who receive a fraction of the funding) are able to stage a number of what are typically considered "expensive" or difficult to stage Wagner productions. Neither has it stopped houses that receive no public funding such as Grange Park, Longborough Opera festival, Fulham Opera or indeed Glyndebourne staging successful and substantive works by Wagner in recent years.

Whatever may be the case, Berry did suggest some hope for Wagnerians with a production of Tristan in development and perhaps a Meistersinger in a few years.

From the home of the now legendary "Goodall Ring" ( and Meistersinger) one can only hope.