Exclusive: ENO drops Wagner conductor

Exclusive: ENO drops Wagner conductor


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2021

Members of the Valkyrie cast have been upset at the sudden departure from English National Opera of Anthony Negus, one of Britain’s most gifted and experienced Wagnerians who has been coaching them for the past seven weeks.

A cast list handed out yesterday still had Negus conducting on 7 December, but his name has vanished from the ENO website.

No reason has been given.

ENO, not the happiest or most rational of houses, has its mind more on these gimmicks:


  • Player says:

    What??? This is a disaster. Some of us have booked specifically for the performance on 7th December that he is due to conduct.

    Can we know more, both about what is really going on, and about how upset the cast is?

    It is pretty bad that he has been coaching them all this time, and this happens just after the dress rehearsal (yesterday) and before the first night.

  • Paul Dawson says:

    The ENO website mentions that the production contains ‘sexual violence’. This sounds ominous. The incest surely has to be completely consensual.

    Is Hunding going to rape Sieglinde? That might leave doubts over Siegfried’s paternity. Is there going to be a portrayal of the forced wedding in which Siegmund intervened? Will Wotan take Fricka? Necrophilia in the opening of Act 3, perhaps?

    I am at a loss as to how sexual violence can be anything other than a producer’s bolt-on to the narrative in this opera.

    • helloopera says:

      happy to say I saw it yesterday at the dress and now have booked to view 2 more performances with guests and friends- nothing vulgar whatsoever – modern sensibility but really straightforward storytelling with a complete respect for the music and focus on the superb singing and acting performances – friends in the audience ranged from first time seeing Wagner young people and long term Wagner lovers – both completely gripped by the storytelling and music making. only ominous issue was entirely appropriate low level threatening violence from Hunding to Sieglinde entirely plot appropriate, and sensitively handled and all in inference, no rapes, or pretend sex etc onstage.

    • Una says:

      Trouble is the least little thing, and they can get sued, or get woked and offended. There was no warning for their Don Giovanni years ago. Certainly put a new dimension on soprano coloratira singing, but there would have to be a health and an abuse warning today!

  • Alan says:

    What! I also chose the performance Negus was conducting. I am travelling from Edinburgh. We deserve to know more.

    • Una says:

      I was travelling from Leeds, notvas far as Edinburgh but not a hop on the London Underground either! What’s the. matter. with ENO and Negus? Why can’t they just come clean? We are the paying public.

  • Siegfried says:

    ENO bashing again. This is not a recent change as Negus’ name was not on the list of this season’s conductors in the programmes in mid-October.

  • Tone row says:

    Overtime costs of Reggie-tribute tempi?

  • David says:

    Like many others, I booked the particular performance on the 7th because the great Anthony Negus was billed as conducting. What on earth is going on, ENO?

  • David Barneby says:

    I suspect there may have been a difference of opinion on the presentation of the opera. We’re I an opera singer today I would not agree to perform in some of the modern reinterpretations of classic operas .

  • Alwyn Wood says:

    Well, the Lion King 2 ad just about sums it up. I have been to 3 ENO productions; the first was a very amateurish compilation of ballet excerpts with lots of noisy scene shifting off-stage.
    I gave them a second chance with their useless penny-pinching production of “The Tales of Hoffmann” (simply embarrassing) and a third with “The Marriage of Figaro” which was so pathetic I left with my companion at the first Interval. That’s enough. The Tiktopera can be deposited where the sunlight fails to penetrate.

  • Stevie says:

    I find this curious being a member at ENO and, from the announcement earlier this year of the new season onwards as far as I’m aware, Martyn Brabbins has been listed as Conductor for all performances. Would be highly unusual for someone to conduct for just one night of a run.
    I’m inclined to call bulls**t on this “piece of news” .

  • Wahnfried3 says:

    Reports now that the ENO have reinstated Mr Negus. Excellent news that common sense has prevailed with all concerned.

  • Player says:

    We seem to have Player bot?