The Met will stage a Richard Jones Ring in 2025

The Met will stage a Richard Jones Ring in 2025


norman lebrecht

November 12, 2021

Peter Gelb has confirmed plans today to the NY Times:

The Metropolitan Opera says it will roll out Jones’s new “Ring” starting in 2025, and will present full cycles by the end of the 2026-27 season. “The crazy thing about opera is how far ahead we have to plan,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said in an interview.

“I’m a big fan of Richard Jones,” Gelb added. “He is a director who is very attuned to the narrative of the operas that he’s doing. And his work as a theater director is very impressive. He brings all that work to the opera.”

Those who remember his Covent Garden Ring – deplored on television by Bernard Haitink – may share a little smile.

Jones conceded that his earlier London “Ring” — in which the Rhinemaidens, who possess the powerful gold around which the action revolves, wore latex fat suits and Wotan, the king of the gods, carried a “one way” road sign — had been heavy-handed.

“It would read as rather bludgeoning now,” he said. His new “Ring” will be more straightforward and “narratively clear to a first-time buyer.”


  • Allen says:

    Am I the only one who finds stills of opera productions, especially close-ups, seriously off-putting?

    Sometimes it is because they are completely out of context but, in many instances, they are just, well ….. off-putting.

    • BRUCEB says:


      I mean no, you are not the only one.

      I think often they choose a picture because it offers a good view of the set(s) or costumes, and fail to notice the human beings in the photo (or the fact that they look ridiculous).

      (Freia kind of looks like a girl whose gigantic blue boyfriend is embarrassing her at a party — again — and is waiting for a chance to say “let’s just go home.” Meanwhile he’s forgotten that he’s got hold of her wrist and she can’t just discreetly go apologize to the host.)


    I wonder how many cycles the Robert Lepage “Ring” has had. Probably not a very good return on a huge invesytment.

    • Yes Addison says:

      If you don’t count the productions of the individual operas when they were new in 2010-12, the answer is three.

      The first complete cycle was in 2012, and another followed in 2013 (a bomb; Siegfried played to houses less than 50 percent full). To the surprise of some, the Met brought it back in 2019 with a better cast. Attendance was much improved, but it was clear that it was likely to be the last outing for the Lepage. It wasn’t just expensive to create. Because it was technically complex and high-maintenance, it was a big expense again every time they brought it out of storage, and a lot of people hated it.

      The Lepage Götterdämmerung received 14 performances between 2012 and 2019.

  • EagleArts says:

    Why is Gelb still employed? Lock him out.

  • PeterB says:

    Never saw his London Ring (4 times decent tickets in Covent Garden? No idea how to get them let alone afford them). I did see his Parsifal in Paris, it was heavy-handed to say the least. The whole “it all happens in a school” concept bore far too many likenesses with Keith Warner’s earlier and better Karlsruhe Parsifal to be a coincidence.

    But Jones haters needn’t worry. The Met will tame him. Patrons are guaranteed a meaningless production with gorgeous sets. After all, Robert Lepage was a pretty interesting director until Klingsor Gelb got his hands on him.

  • RW2013 says:

    The Lepage is already history after all that fuss?

  • Paul Dawson says:

    Once bitten, twice shy. The Covent Garden Ring was a disgrace, as Bernard Haitink made clear to viewers of The House.

    No mention in this story of it being a joint production with ENO.

  • DG says:

    Guess that big rotating metal thing from the last Met Ring is going to the scrapyard.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    🙂 I can smell it from here.

  • operacentric says:

    That will save me a pricey trip to New York then!

  • Sisko24 says:

    “….clear to a first-time buyer…” Are we all now ‘buyers’ of opera and not aficionados, or fans, or listeners? Is this what our society is finally coming down to be, where money talks and b.s. walks? If this is his mindset, then this may be the Ring Cycle to hear and see, but only for the wrong reasons. Sheesh!

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Sadly, we are considered “buyers”. Like most things in our less-than-well-educated society, opera and classical music and the visual arts have been monetized beyond accessibility. “Art for art’s sake” doesn’t apply any longer. They are commodities, like stainless steel kitchen appliances or video games.

    • Ms.Melody says:

      Patients are now called Clients, students are Consumers of education, and anyone with interest in a project is a stakeholder. Why should music lovers be spared the horrors of “business speak”?

  • Sammy Meister finger says:

    hopefully Gelb will be far gone from the met by 2025. Every step he’s taken in his career at the Met was a failure. The board needs to wake up and ask the employees and concert goers what they think of this guy.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Instead of a new Ring, I wish the Met would announce some different and truly interesting works – proven, stageworthy operas that have never or rarely seen the light of day at the Met–and I don’t mean obscure operas that don’t merit restaging. There are many.

    We don’t need another sub-par Rigoletto or Traviata or Nozze or disastrous Ring. Explore the repertory and make the Met an exciting place to be.

    And, please, please, please, find another way to workshop new works before throwing millions at them for main stage productions. This worked for Fire Shut Up In My Bones. A premiere two years ago at the OTSL helped to guarantee a successful run at the Met. The Met should be in the business of commissioning new works, but also employ a realistic process to eliminate new works that will never work in a 3,800 seat venue.

  • Monsoon says:

    The Covent Garden Ring was from 1993; yeah he screwed up, but it was so long ago that it’s not fair hold him to it.

    He’s done a lot of creative, successful productions over the last 20+ years — judge him on that.

    (And after the Robert Lepage Ring, I imagine the Met really does want something more conventional, and certainly less expensive.)

  • offended UES says:

    Oh my! Racism persists.

    Gelb’s White privilege strikes again..

    He should have consulted with his chief diversity officer choosing a black or Native American woman or a Trans.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      How about just a female director, regardless of ethnicity? Does diversity only refer to ethnicity?

      • John Kelly says:

        Julie Taymor…….but probably the exception that proves the rule. Magic Flute

      • Paul Dawson says:

        Stay away from Phyllida Lloyd. Her ENO Ring following Jones’s ROH disaster meant London has been deprived of a decent Ring for far too long.

      • PaulD says:

        In today’s United States, diversity only refers to one race and trans persons.

        • Tiredofitall says:

          Then perhaps we should call it what it really refers to. But that would require the courage of their convictions.

      • J. Kovaceks says:

        It’s about fashionable appeasements only Tiredofitall. Ergo just lower your expectations and accept it.

        Democrats historically used blacks as set props. The practice is reminiscent of their days of olde keeping slaves. They justified themselves by accepting the Portuguese, Israelites leading back to fellow Africans “did it anyway so it was ok”. Willful ignorance by the left is always on full display.

        In a fair and equal world, the best person for the job would get it. Instead the laughable liberal culture pervading the MET in leftist NY dictates only certain categories of individuals are used bearing the newest labels of the so-called oppressed.

        The fact that one is barred from being a Chief Diversity Officer unless they are qualified as being black and normally female proves leftism is lethal to actual academic achievement. They normally get used for perceived positive press yet get ignored by white liberals not to mention paid little or paid well with negligible input as seen currently.

        The white founded, Democrat controlled Met is playing the same game as mainstream media, big tech, big pharma and politics are. Take a good look at who still controls things. Even if it’s a recent, rare black the founders are ALWAYS white along with shareholders!

        Aside from this the activist/rioters always at the epicenter of militant groups like ANTIFA and even BLM engaging in financial fraud and violence are white lefties.

        Now you know how the liberal white operates and why they need clinical mental intervention. They’re insane with projection and lacked stability in formative years leaching off of others misery to cover their own failures.

  • Madison says:

    Oh, puleeze, Mr. Gelb. No more idiotic “revealing(sic) interpretations” of The Ring.Didn’t you learn your lesson with the video game Ring we were subjected to these past years. This looks even more degenerate. Brunnhilde, in shorts and a T shirt, as Greta Thunberg? Is Brunnhilde a climate activist? Does the libretto support this? Did Wagner write about his fear of climate change in his essays, diary or letters? Why oh why is such insanity even legal??

  • Ms.Melody says:

    Great news! This is what the world needs-another Regie Ring. Isn’t there a charity or a music program that can use the money spent on yet another trashy multi-million dollar production?

  • Y says:

    And the world of Western art continues its headlong descent into madness. The West is now so barren and degenerate that it actually deserves to be conquered.

    • Reality Sux says:

      No, Western Civilization is something to proud of, and there’s a reason nearly every country in the world emulates its achievements and institutions, just look at the Far East for example. Time to read some Pascal Bruckner!

  • Frank Flambeau says:

    Why does such a loser get a second chance?

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Good luck to him. The Met’s last attempt was pretty vapid.

  • PaulD says:

    And I thought Achim Freyer’s designs for the LA Opera’s Ring were silly.

  • Nick2 says:

    Some like Richard Jones work. I’m one who doesn’t. A Richard Jones Ring is likely to be a sure way to empty your House, especially one as conservative as the Met. But if Gotterdammerung pulls Peter Gelb into the flames, he will have done the House a service.

  • Stephen Gould says:

    I saw that Ring at the ROH. He apparently used similar symbolism to that he’d used in his “Into the Woods” which prompted some wit to describe the production as “Into the Rhine”. It was a pitifully small scale Ring. Worst production I’ve seen either live or TV/streamed

  • Alviano says:

    I think this focus on “first-time buyers” is wrong-headed. The core audience is experienced opera goers. We want to learn, to see something new, to be challenged. That’s the fun stuff. Simplification may lure someone new in, but if they stay they will want to be challenged too. Any art needs repeat customers. That’s the goal!

  • bet says:

    Whatever Jones’s concept, it’d better bloody well involve The Machine that the Met invested $2M in, now collecting a generous layer of dust in a warehouse somewhere deep in New Jersey.

    I wonder what the Met could’ve used that $2M for during the pandemic…

    • Tiredofitall says:

      $2 million????? Think again. Try $20 or $30 million, depending on what ancillary costs are included–not to mention the lost ticket sales due to disgust and disinterest.

      • Stephen Owades says:

        I saw the splendid complete Ring at the Met shortly before everything shut down in early 2020. The house was quite full, and enthusiastic, so the “lost ticket sales” were only in your imagination.

        • Tiredofitall says:

          You must not have been there for the first revival in 2013. It was a literal box office bloodbath. Some performances were 1/3 full. A sea of red (revenues and plush seats) despite thousands of comps.

          Gelb probably thought he was being clever by capitalizing on the Wagner bicentennial. His hubris ignored the negative reviews for the LePage effort and the plethora of worthy stagings around the world in 2013.

  • John says:

    Isn’t the Met’s production also shared with ENO – the first stage of which, The Valkyrie, starts this month?

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Can only be an improvement on the Lepage. Hopefully with a far superior Brunnhilde, Wotan, and Siegfried as well. Which actually seems possible at this point.

  • Carlos says:

    They should return with Schenk/Schneider-Siemssen production.

  • Concerned opera buff says:

    The Met should immediately cease doing business with ENO, as the Board is composed mainly of white people, with one diversity member who is black, and a guy from India. Sorry Gelb. You need to consult with your diversity hire to find out why there are so many white folks at ENO. You made a big stink about it at the Met, now follow through.

  • Helen Wynn says:

    Flew on twice from Hawaii to see LePage Ring…2012 and 2019. Loved it. Wasn’t so fond of San Francisco Ring in 2018. I cringed at recent Bayreuth Ring.

  • Alan says:

    I would hire production team from Game of Thrones or horror movies and charge them with the scariest dragon, giants, dwarves, effects. Jones is the opposite. He doesn’t believe in audience pleasure. His Hansel has repelled a generation of potential opera lovers.