Here at WNO’s home, Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, everything has stepped up yet another gear as we enter the final days before opening night of our Autumn Season.
We are very excited at the prospect of finally seeing the finished result of David Pountney’s brand new production of Prokofiev’s War and Peace which kicks us off at 6.30pm on Saturday 15 September. To most of us this is a new opera as well as a new production and, having had to wrap our heads around multiple roles per cast member and an opera based on a 1,200-odd page novel, we are certainly looking forward to seeing it come to life on stage.
This is followed by a revival of our much-loved 2009 production of La traviata, bringing more than a touch of glamour and opulence to the Season. With its mid-19th century setting it is always a pleasure to be drawn into Verdi’s Parisian society. This year we have two leading ladies taking on the role of Violetta, each is sure to bring their own subtleties to the heroine as she faces love and loss in true operatic style. If you’re coming to the first performance on Friday 21 September then you will get to see WNO regular, Linda Richardson’s take on this iconic character.
The Season in Cardiff ends on a comic note with our first revival of Rossini’s La Cenerentola since we premiered the production in 2007. The colourful adaptation of Rossini’s Cinderella story is worth the wait, with the smallest cast of the three operas, this includes six fantastic singers enjoying their first WNO main stage engagement and we cannot wait to hear them.
Once our run has finished here in Cardiff, we head off on tour for the Season, visiting Oxford, Llandudno, Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham and Southampton, not returning until the end of November. Please note that War and Peacewon’t be performed at The Bristol Hippodrome or Liverpool Empire Theatre.
And don’t forget that as well as our main stage Season, from Wednesday 3 October, our five star ‘operatic cabaret with an Edwardian music hall style twist’ (as Caroline Clegg, the Director, describes it) Rhondda Rips It Up! hits the road again. It takes in Swansea, Oxford, Bangor, Swindon, Northampton, Mold and Winchester between its opening and 20 November.