The Birmingham Opera Company (BOC) will present a new production of Wagner’s Rhinegold (1876) in August 2021, the West Midlands-based opera company has announced. An international cast and local volunteer performers will be led by Artistic Director Graham Vick and newly appointed Music Director Alpesh Chauhan.
The company specialises in innovative and avant-garde productions of the operatic repertoire, often in unusual venues. This time the performance is canal-side in the 100,000 sq ft The Tubeworks, a disused metalworks on Icknield Port Loop. The audience will physically move with the action, experiencing the opera by being a part of it, giving a unique Brummie take on the original myth of the forging of the golden ring.
Music Director Alpesh Chauhan commented: “I’m delighted that we announce Rhinegold as our next big project at Birmingham Opera Company. It will be my first as music director.
“We have a stellar international line-up of soloists, boosted by the incredible forces of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the people of Birmingham who volunteer to be a part of our creativity, all alongside the BOC team, which is a hugely exciting prospect to make this opera come to life in its immersive setting in Brum.
“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 baritones Eric Greene (Wotan), Byron Jackson (Donner) and Ross Ramgobin (Alberich), tenors Brenden Gunnell (Loge) and Amar Muchhala (Froh), mezzo-soprano Chrystal E Williams (Fricka), sopranos Francesca Chiejina (Freia) and Gweneth-Ann Rand (Erda), and bass-baritones Keel Watson (Fasolt) and Andrew Slater (Fafner).
The production has been funded via donations from the public, which were matched by a project run by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa said: “In this year above all, my primary concern is the wellbeing of those talented artists now embarking on careers against such insuperable odds. It is not just opportunities to earn enough to live, but the chance to practise and improve the craft in which they have invested so much time and dedication.
“Birmingham Opera Company’s intensive coaching by top mentors and challenging rehearsal process offers a lifeline which I know will be eagerly grasped by those singers selected. I for one can hardly wait to experience the result next summer.”
Birmingham Opera Company’s Artistic Director Graham Vick and Music Director Alpesh Chauhan will bring Wagner’s Rhinegold to life in Birmingham in 2021.