© Bayreuther Festspiele, Meistersinger 2018

News from the Members

Team of singers in the UK aim to record a Wagner album
The Wagner Album - Cat, Philip and Keel make an album of musical highlights from "Der Ring des Nibelungen". And they need support via Crowdfunding

Catharine and Ben performed his arrangement of the final scene from Götterdämmerung at the Markgräfliches Theater in Bayreuth, Germany in September 2021. 

There's nothing quite like Wagner. At least, we think so. It brings us - Catharine, Philip, Keel and Ben - so much joy to perform. 

Performance opportunities have been slim over the last couple of years, and although they are beginning to return, there's still a huge amount of uncertainty for performing artists at this time. 

We want to make something that will last, and showcase us all and the best of our abilities. We also want to pay all the professional orchestral players involved professional rates for their work, as well as our engineers and producer. 

We've picked excerpts from Wagner's "Ring" because it is special to all of us. Our roles are Wotan, ruler of the gods; Brünnhilde, his daughter and Valkyrie; and Siegfried his grandson and hero. While we will be performing the whole 4 evenings of opera, live, in the future, our goal is to bring you some of the most famous and beautiful moments of the score, rearranged for 18 (rather than 80) instrumentalists. 

We can't do this without you. If you would consider buying any one of us a pint, please chuck us a fiver.  We realise it's a lot to ask right now, but it would really mean the world to us. 
Who we are:

Ben Woodward is our conductor and arranger for the project. His specialist subject is huge and seemingly impossible music projects. With Fulham Opera he took the company from nothing to performing two complete Ring Cycles in 2014. Since then, they have performed many fantastic operas with Ben at the helm, including Verdi's Falstaff, Simon Boccanegra, Don Carlo & forthcoming la Forza del Destino; Wagner's der Fliegende Holländer & die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; and many others. His most recent production - of Strauss' alledgedly unstageable Die Aegyptische Helena - was an unprecedented success, with a 4 star review in the Times and 5 stars in Opera Now magazine. He also started Fulham Opera's Orchestral Study Days, taking a large and brilliant amateur orchestra through some of the most difficult operatic repertoire for fun. As well as his work in the UK, he has been on music staff at the Staatsoper Hannover; Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen; & the Schleswig-Hostein Landestheater where he conducted performances of Der Fliegende Holländer, Singin' In The Rain & Guys and Dolls.

Keel Watson, our Wotan, is one of the best singers working in the UK today. He made his debut at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden back in 2000, and appears regularly at English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera Holland Park, and many other prestigious companies around the UK and Europe. His rich, powerful, expressive instrument has to be heard to be believed. He is perhaps best known to opera fans for his performance as Iago in Graham Vick's celebrated production of Verdi's Otello for Birmingham Opera, filmed for the BBC, and he also appears in Kenneth Branagh's film version of The Magic Flute.

Catharine Woodward, our Brünnhilde, has possibly had the oddest route through the industry of us all. Despite deciding, and telling anyone who would listen, that she wanted to be an opera singer from the age of 12, she found herself working at BBC Radio 1 in her 20s, was in a cabaret act playing double bass and ukulele for several years, fronted a function band, and appeared singing on Have I Got News For You, Taskmaster, and various news channels (don't ask). She has also worked at English National Opera, Scottish Opera, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as well as many other prestigious companies and festivals. More recently she has moved into dramatic repertoire, leading to being a live finalist twice in the Lauritz Melchior International Singing Competition in Denmark, and she was also selected (twice!) by major panels as one of the top 10 singers to apply in both NYIOP's Anonymous Audition Project and ANON:DE German Repertoire project. Her future plans include performances as Brünnhilde in der Ring des Nibelungen, Isolde in Tristan and Isolde & Leonora in la Forza del Destino. 

Philip Modinos, our Siegfried, is a tenor with Greek, American and British ancestry. His astonishing voice is matched only by his entrepreneurship. Since first performing the title role of Siegfried for Fulham Opera's Ring Cycle, he set up and co-ran an opera company in Thessaloniki, Greece, as well as performing regularly in the UK, Germany and the rest of the world. Siegfried is one of the hardest roles in the operatic repertoire and he sings it with ease. His beautiful instrument and skill has lead to contracts at both the Royal Opera Covent Garden and Greek National Opera, among many others. His star is on the rise. 

Risks and challenges

We accept this is a lot of money to try and crowdfund, but this is what it costs for 18 musicians, a suitable venue and professional recording engineers! We believe you will see how valuable this is, and help us to make this happen.

If you would like to help by making a donation, no matter how small, towards realising this recording, please visit their crowdfunding page: