Trial begins of man who hit Covent Garden seat climber

Trial begins of man who hit Covent Garden seat climber


norman lebrecht

December 16, 2019

Remember the headlines about fisticuffs at the Royal Opera?

It’s now come to trial.

Matthew Feargrieve, a hedge-fund lawyer, is accused of hitting fashion designer Ulrich Engler after he climbed over seatbacks to get a better view of Wagner’s Ring.

Report here.

UPDATE: Verdict here.


  • We privatize your value says:

    Quite funny, because if you google the name “Ulrich Engler” in German, you find article after article about a homonym, the convicted fraudster and conman Ulrich “Richie” Engler. Without assuming anything, I can testify that Germans in Great Britain tend to be very pushy and obnoxious. Just think of that charming politician, Irina von Wiese. Maybe it’s the Luftwaffe effect. 🙂

  • anon says:

    Wagner brings out the animal in us.

  • Charles says:

    There are now so few staff around at the Opera House, that I am not surprised that such sustained attacks go on.

    If this is proven true, I hope the couple are issued with a life ban.

    I have had a couple of nasty run ins with audience members. On both occasions, I just said nothing, to stop the situation escalating. One bizarre incident in the stalls involved a very elderly person barking at me, was I English.

  • Karl says:

    Engler was the one who got arrested at the time. He moved a woman’s coat. I would never do that. Could touching a woman’s coat be viewed as sexual assault in this day and age?

  • Paul Dawson says:

    Can I misquote Andrew Porter’s magnificent Ring translation? “Only the man who braves my wife’s coat shall pass to this seat of claim.”

  • Calvin says:

    Does payback come in more delicious flavors? By pressing this case the snotty seat-climber advertises to the world [redacted]

  • Bostin'Symph says:

    I once sat behind Matti Salminen at the opera and felt like climbing over him to get a better view. I got his autograph instead. He was charming.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    ==The court heard Engler was diagnosed with PTSD after the incident


  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Surely there must have been plenty of witnesses available to make sense of these very different accounts. For ROH to cause enough fuss for Engler (rather than Feargrieve) to spend a night in the cells – maybe there’s part of the story we’re not hearing ?