During the summer Welsh National Opera launched two new podcast series; The O Word presented by Gareth Jones in English and Cipolwg presented by Lorna Prichard in Welsh. After catching up with Gareth, we turned to Lorna to find out more about her, her love of opera and what you can expect from Cipolwg.
Tell us about yourself and how you got involved with WNO’s podcast.
I'm a freelance comedian and journalist, I used to be an ITV Wales news reporter. I've always been a huge fan of theatre and opera especially. I was introduced to it from a young age because my mum loved it. We've been to see many operas together over the years. So, when WNO contacted me asking if I'd be interested in presenting an opera podcast for them, I nearly bit their hand off.
What do you think people will enjoy about Cipolwg?
I hope you'll feel you're in the company of a friend – each episode is about 35 minutes and split into three parts. Firstly, I talk about an opera I've just seen with my mum or a friend (at the moment we're watching operas online). Then I interview an opera singer or someone working in the industry. The conversation can feature Netflix recommendations, mental health and what it’s like working in the arts. Finally, WNO's Dramaturg Elin Jones asks me trivia questions based on the opera being discussed, I’ve learnt a lot of quirky facts along the way.
Tell us about an opera production that really stood out for you.
The first time I saw La traviata. I know it’s a popular one, but how can anyone not love it? I saw David McVicar's WNO production in 2009. I went with my mum, a boyfriend and his friend. I was completely drawn in by Violetta and her incredible spirit, passion and vulnerability. She's also brave, battling through an illness she knows will kill her and taking a chance on love only to sacrifice it. I cried four times. Afterwards, I remember looking at my boyfriend at the time and he was completely unmoved. I knew then we were not meant to be. His friend on the other hand was wiping away tears too – I should have gone with him.
What episode has been your highlight so far?
I'd say the first episode when I got to meet Carlo Rizzi, he's been a hero of mine for so long. He's funny and charming but everyone I've met so far has been so lovely. One young soprano, Fflur Wyn from Episode Seven, has promised to take me round some of London's best charity shops. Gwyn Hughes Jones gave some great Netflix and book recommendations in Episode Six. I think what I like best is getting a real insight into working in opera but also getting to know them as real people as well.
To hear these highlights and catch up with the latest episodes, listen to Cipolwg and keep an ear out for the next episodes.