Die Walküre | Richard Wagner | Adapted by Jonathan Dove and Graham Vick | Arcola Theatre | Hackney Empire | Julia Burbach

Grimeborn Opera Festival 2021 transforms the opulent Hackney Empire stage for three nights with a special adaptation of the second act of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Two strangers, Sieglinde and Siegmund, meet in a storm. Their chance encounter rapidly turns into a consuming love affair. But their connection is not all as it seems…

Fleeing for their safety, the couple spark the fury of their father, plunging the world into an apocalyptic battle for power.

Director Julia Burbach and Conductor Peter Selwyn reunite with Designer, Bettina John after their critically-acclaimed take on Das Rheingold (2019) with a bold reimagining of the second act of Wagner‘s Ring Cycle.

Accompanied by the Orpheus Sinfonia, an orchestra of 18 musicians, Grimeborn Festival brings Jonathan Dove’s stirring adaptation of Wagner’s magical opera of gods and goddesses to Hackney Empire in the heart of East London.

(c) Alex Brenner

Associate director: Mark Burns

Natasha Jouhl | Sieglinde
Simon Wilding | Hunding
Elizabeth Karani | Helmwige
Harriet Williams | Fricka
Katie Stevenson | Rossweisse
Bethan Langford | Waltraute

Design assistant: Florence Pick
Costume maker: Evelien Van Camp
Costume assistant: Noemie Laffargue

★★★★★ “This is a performance that will live in the memory for many years. Sensational! Julia Burbach’s production, within Bettina John’s set of gleaming steel structures, is clear, incisive and frequently exceptionally beautiful.”London Living Large

(c) Alex Brenner

★★★★ “Slimmed and trimmed but just as exhilarating.”Evening Standard

(c) Alex Brenner

★★★★ “Does Wagner compelling justice … Julia Burbach’s insightful and compassionate direction, with its illuminating touches, brings the narrative and relationships to life … We are brought grippingly close to the characters.”The Stage

★★★★ “this Walküre is a remarkably plucky achievement”Bachtrack

(c) Alex Brenner

★★★★ “A Die Walkürie that has much to offer Wagner superfans and plenty too for those dipping a toe … Peter Selwyn conducts the 18 strong Orpheus Sinfonia with such confidence, all the power and emotions of Wagner’s score working its way into our souls.”Broadway World

(c) Alex Brenner

★★★★ “We all have our comfort zones and for many people opera is not part of it. But after tonight’s Die Walkure we are starting to think there might be a Try It You Might LOVE IT Club that we should be forcibly insisting you all join.”Queerguru

★★★★ “the singing is uniformly good … a wonderful way of making Wagner more accessible to new audiences”Plays to See

(c) Alex Brenner

★★★★ “It is a remarkable achievement at any time to mount a production of any of the Wagner Ring Cycle operas; to do so with 50% capacity limits at the present time deserves copious congratulations.”Sardines

★★★★ “A little miracle”Planet Hugill