A look back at our Autumn Season

4 December 2023
a woman in a suit walks forwards in a bar scene, as the patrons observe them

Another incredible Welsh National Opera Season has come to an end, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the wonderful feedback our audiences have given us about Ainadamar and La traviata.  

Our Season opened in Cardiff on Saturday 9 September with a new production of Golijov’s Spanish spectacular, Ainadamar. This 80-minute, flamenco-filled whirlwind, tells the story of Federico García Lorca through the eyes of his friend and muse Margarita Xirgu. In a series of flashbacks, Margarita tells her students about how she met Lorca, how he wrote the part of Mariana Pineda for her and how, due to his political views and sexuality, was brutally murdered by a Falange firing squad during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. 

Marking the first time WNO has ever performed in Spanish, Ainadamar was directed by Olivier award-winning choreographer, Deborah Colker (Cirque du Soleil, Rio Olympics) and with flamenco choreography by Antonio Najarro. Starring Jaquelina Livieri as Margarita Xirgu, Hanna Hipp in thetrouser role of Lorca and winner of the 2023 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Audience prize, Julieth Lozano Rolong as Nuria, this Grammy winning piece was a hit with critics and audiences alike.

fiercely evocative

The Guardian

It’s clear from the reactions and reviews that Ainadamar is truly a special piece that tells a tragic, yet important part of history. 

Following on from Ainadamar, we brought back our five-star staging of Verdi’s classic La traviata. Violetta, the most sought-after courtesan in Paris, has given up her life of luxury and fancy parties after falling in love Alfredo though his father, Giorgio Germont, disapproves of their romance. To protect his family’s reputation, Germont insists Violetta, who is suffering from consumption, leaves his son and returns to her life of debauchery. Realising the error of his ways, Germont confesses to Alfredo that he made Violetta leave, who then rushes to be with her in her final moments, resulting in one of the most heartbreaking scenes in opera. 

Making her UK debut, Australian-Mauritian soprano Stacey Alleaume wowed audiences with her lively, emotionally and heartbreaking portrayal of Violetta, a role she has sung countless times. Alongside Stacey, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim returned to WNO to sing the role of Alfredo and Grammy Award winner Mark S Doss as Germont.  

Our timeless production of Verdi’s heart-breaking piece thrills our audiences over and over and, if you have seen the piece, you’ll understand why.  

Travelling from Cardiff to Llandudno, Bristol, Plymouth, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Southampton, Ainadamar and La traviata were accompanied by performances of our family show, Play Opera LIVE. This Season, we explored space with our host Tom Redmond who took us on a journey through inter-galactic inspired pieces, such as Fly Me To The Moon and Party On Planet Sum Zee.

If you missed us this Autumn, or just want to see more incredible WNO productions, then join us in Spring for Death in Venice and Così fan tutte when we tour to Cardiff, Llandudno, Southampton, Oxford, Bristol and Birmingham.