Met uncertain about producing Richard Jones' Ring Cycle

FILE - People appear in Josie Robertson Plaza in front of The Metropolitan Opera house at Lincoln Center in New York on March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File) (Kathy Willens, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – The Met Opera will not start a new production of Wagner's Ring Cycle in 2025 and is not sure whether it will move ahead with plans to present a staging of the tetralogy by director Richard Jones.

The Met had announced in February 2021 that it would present a co-production of “Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung)" with the English National Opera directed by Jones, which began in London with “Die Walküre (The Valykrie)" that November. “Das Rheingold (Rhinegold)" is to open in London on Feb. 18 but the English opera said Tuesday it will not go ahead with “Siegfried" next season due to uncertainty in funding.

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“With the ENO not being in a position to continue with the production of its Ring Cycle, it obviously makes it impossible to help produce it with them," Met general manager Peter Gelb said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Gelb originally said he planned to start the Ring in New York in 2025 and present full cycles by 2026-27 but said Tuesday he previously had delayed that timetable.

The ENO said after negotiations with Arts Council England it will receive 11.46 million pounds ($14.06 million) in National Lottery funding for the fiscal year starting April 1, a 9% cut. Arts Council England had said in November that ENO's annual general funding would be be eliminated and suggested the company move outside London.

“The delay in confirming our financial status has meant that our plans for the season ahead will inevitably have to change, including the postponement of a number of new productions as well as our current Ring Cycle, in partnership with the Met, which was due to continue with a new production of `Siegfried' next season," the ENO said.

“We do remain concerned that this only gives audiences and our workforce one year’s reprieve, and still leaves a huge amount of uncertainty regarding the ENO’s future," the company said.

The Met's last Ring Cycle, by director Robert Lepage, was presented in 2012, then revived in 2013 and 2019.