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Looking back at 2019 it’s not just our wonderful productions that have done well this year but the breadth of the company coming together from all the different departments that make WNO what it is today. We’ve had a whole range of characters with us on stage this year - some naughty, some nice! We’ve added new members to the team and said fond ‘goodbyes’ and big ‘thankyous’ to those moving on.
Marketing kick-started the year by unveiling a fresh new look for our opera creative. Bright and colourful; this has appeared across the country in brochures, on billboards, social media and more, making a big splash. You can’t miss it! The team also worked on lots of new digital content to help give you a glimpse behind the scenes of our busy opera company.
WNO Orchestra chartered a plane and flew to Rabat, Morocco on the request of the British Ambassador for two concerts in December conducted by Carlo Rizzi, with soloists Mary Elizabeth Williams and Gwyn Hughes Jones. We’re sure their highlight from the year was Morocco, although singing Merry Christmas in festive finery for our video here in Cardiff came a close second, which will be unleashed soon.
It’s also been a busy time for WNO’s Youth & Community team: the terrific AR experience, in collaboration with ARCADE,A Vixen’s Tale was a real achievement. Youth & Community also headed off to Dubai to hold a series of schools workshops in advance of our work with EXPO 2020 there. In July the Development department began a fundraising campaign, asking donors to support WNO’s Janáček Series which will help us put our ambitious work on the stage. The series runs across our three Janáček productions –The Cunning Little Vixen, Jenůfa and The Makropulos Affair.
It was also fantastic to make the national news with our appointment of Tianyi Lu female conductor in residence. Watch her interview with the BBC here. From the Artistic Planning department, casting Sir Bryn Terfel in Bluebeard’s Castlefor Summer 2020 was great news with lots more to come – watch this space! The launch of our brand new Associate Artist programme is a great new development, with auditions underway, the two successful applicants will be announced in the spring.
WNO enjoyed taking this Season’s productions of Carmen, Rigoletto and The Cunning Little Vixen out on tour. All were received well by both audiences and critics with some outstanding 4* and 5* reviews. One young fan even gave us 11 out of 10!
Members of WNO staff were given the opportunity to embrace our home language here in Cardiff and take part in Welsh lessons which were a resounding success.
Keep an eye out for a special video of us all wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, which will be coming soon on our social media pages.