How to get the inside scoop

31 August 2018

Each season WNO present our Opera Insight sessions, which provide the opportunity to hear from cast and creative team members, getting a glimpse at the processes behind our main stage productions – the inspiration behind them and how the decisions are reached as to which operas we put on when. This is a talk you can engage with – hear the in-depth discussions between the production team and artists to get an understanding of the dynamics, and then you can ask your questions too, as a Q&A session is included.

This season we look at our new production, Prokofiev’s War and Peace, with our Artistic Director David Pountney and Music Director Tomáš Hanus. Tomáš is conducting the piece throughout the tour, a version of Rita McAllister’s critical edition, which takes it back to how Prokofiev originally intended it. David directs the production on a set designed by Robert Innes Hopkins (who also designed our In Parenthesis set), with costumes by Marie-Jeanne Lecca, who works regularly with David Pountney, including on last season’s La forza del destino, and video projections by David Haneke – who previously worked on The Fall of the House of Usher for us. Hear how when David Pountney was imagining the look of War and Peace, that of a wooden house like Tolstoy’s in Moscow, he realised that the set of In Parenthesis could easily form the basis of just such a set; hence its new life in this production.

So far, artists Jonathan McGovern (Andrei), Lauren Michelle (Natasha), Simon Bailey (Balaga, and other roles) and Adrian Dwyer (Anatole and other roles) have been confirmed as taking part on Sunday 2 September, with the possibility of a couple more names being added by the time the event happens.

The whole session should last around 75 minutes and is sure to provide plenty of insider perspectives into War and Peace ahead of our Season opening on Saturday 15 September. It is free to attend the talks, but you must book a ticket in advance. This season is now sold out (check with Wales Millennium Centre ticket office for returns), but tickets are now available for our Spring Season Opera Insight on Sunday 27 January. This session will look at the second part of our Verdi Trilogy, Un ballo in maschera.