London loses next year’s Ring cycle

London loses next year’s Ring cycle


norman lebrecht

September 17, 2020

The London Philharmonic has posted the cancellation of the January-February London Philharmonic Ring cycle, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski at the semi-shutteredSouthbank Centre.


In other news, we hear the Southbank centre is about the appoint a new head of classical music, having announce that 90 percent of nights will go to private bookings. So what’s the point?


  • Player says:

    Well, how is that the Deutsche Oper is about to put on a new, fully staged production of Die Walküre at the end of next week? Makes this look rather pathetic.

    • Cynical Bystander says:

      The clue might be in the name ‘Deutsche’ or if that doesn’t help then in the tweet ‘current Government guidlines’ might point the way. That is of course if you interpret ‘current’ and ‘Government guidelines’ somewhat sceptically.

      • Player says:

        Glyndebourne is putting on the Magic Flute next month… is it to do with UK social distancing guidelines for the players and singers? (In other words, the problem is not actually about admitting audiences…) Or is it money? Or what?

    • RW2013 says:

      One third of it’s 1885 seats are sold per performance, single seating with masks.

    • In their defense says:

      I don’t see how anyone who isn’t privy to the complete financial picture of the LPO and the Ring production specifically has the right to call this decision pathetic. As an audience member who has tickets for this, I am certainly disappointed. But I am sick of seeing so much criticism regarding cancellations here. Arts organization cannot conjure money or dozens of artists who need to travel from different countries out of thin air. Is there waste and mismanagement at the LPO and Southbank and other organizations? Probably yes. They are far from perfect. An endeavor on this scale with revenue from only a few hundred audience members isn’t feasible any way you look at it. I’m sure that the administrators who are constantly put down by readers of this blog are heartbroken and frustrated (alongside the artists) that all of the many years of planning and work that were put into this will come to naught. Be glad that you are not the one who has to make these calls, knowing that people’s livelihoods and the future of these organizations hang in the balance. Case numbers are up all over Europe, and Netrebko’s in the hospital, but everyone is so quick to criticize caution.

  • Orfeo says:

    The problem is the social distancing on the stage,with such a big orchestration :impossible!

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      If they had time, resources and the man hours, it could be possible to reduce the string section and cut down on extra winds and brass. Obviously, some of the players’ parts would have to be redistributed and rearranged. However, that’s a lot of ‘if’s. Travel arrangements for vocalists could be next to impossible anyway. The “Ring” is always a huge en-devour.

  • Equus says:

    German music still plays well to German audiences….Italian opera still plays well to Italian audiences, French music still plays well to French audiences etc. The problem with the UK is that we are still fighting over Rule Brittania and Brexit which has become the sum total of our culture, (sadly Elgar/ Vaughn Williams/Britten are unknown names to the majority.) We do not value classical music as it does not really ‘belong’ to us, it ‘belongs’ to mainland Europe. UK always prided itself on plucky British bulldog mentality that eschews high culture as an affectation of poodles and the upper classes. Hence the building of a slow burn funeral pyre for British orchestras who now sit at home awaiting the inevitable redundancy notices.