Trial begins of man who hit Covent Garden seat climber

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.

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  • 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. 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.”

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

  • 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.

  • 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 ?

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