Hedge fund lawyer ‘punched Covent Garden operagoer’

Hedge fund lawyer ‘punched Covent Garden operagoer’


norman lebrecht

March 20, 2019

It was alleged today that a city lawyer assaulted a fellow-ROH operagoer in a dispute over a woman’s coat.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Matthew Feargrieve, 43, attacked Ulrich Engler, 56, during Siegfried at the Royal Opera House last October. The fight started after Engler grabbed a coat that belonged to Feargrieve’s wife from an empty seat and slung it on to her lap.

The case has been sent to trial.

Court report here.


  • Steve says:

    It seems that Wagner brings out the worst in people. I remember my days in the ‘Stehplatz’ at Wiener Staatsoper, it was always scary but at its scariest during Wagner..

  • A sad comment on our times.

    When I was a boy, the opera-goer fisticuffs were about the music.

  • Johannes says:

    Without prejudice to this case which has still to come before the court…..I saw a full-on fist fight, at the front of the stalls between a load of Russians at ROH some years ago. Security never even came and threw them out.

    Some of the people at ROH these days are SHOCKINGLY awful. People just seem to feel like the only thing in the world that matters is their own will and ego, in that particular moment. There is just no sense of what my mother used to call “Couth”.

  • Viola da Bracchio says:

    Just another day at the Wagner Society.

    I’m surprised Mr Banker punched the other bloke over a coat? Usually Wagner acolytes resort to fisticuffs over whether Tannhauser belongs in the central canon of Der Meister’s output… or who should go to the electric chair first – Keith Warner, or Richard Jones?

  • RW2013 says:

    Don’t they have cloakrooms at the ROH?

  • Caravaggio says:

    Word has it the coat had “Brexit” stitched.

  • William says:

    History shows that Wagner’s music makes men more aggressive.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    A Chelsea supporter commented from outside Stamford Bridge….
    “Opera Supporters, they’re nothing but f***** hooligans. The cats too good for them and a spell in the army would do em the world of good. It doesn’t happen at Bayreuth when I attend the away games although that Thielemann geezer’s a bit too handy with the baton”

  • frenchie says:

    Another Winterstürme in a Teetasse which has a familiar Ring to it.

  • PaulD says:

    Well, at least it didn’t involve a sword.

  • barry guerrero says:

    Just a good warm up for slaying dragons.

  • Mick the Knife says:

    Must have been a damn nice coat.

  • Paul says:

    Curious about the outcome of the case, which was scheduled for early May. Can anybody shed any light?

  • Leopold says:

    I don’t understand. You can sit wherever you want at the Royal Opera House? One is not buying a ticket for a certain seat? What kind of strange culture is that? No wonder people are fighting over empty seats or to sit in the same seat after a break.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Mr F is lucky the fine wasn’t means-tested. As below, he’s clearly loaded 😉