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That's a wrap – looking back at Spring 2019

13 May 2019

Our Spring Season has ended and been packed away for the last time. WNO’s touring company ended three months of being on the road in Southampton with Roberto Devereux and The Magic Flute; Un ballo in maschera having closed in Llandudno two weeks earlier. In the months prior, an entourage of 15 trailers, with stage crew, costume, wigs and make-up teams and company management, not to mention Orchestra, Chorus and singers, travelled across Wales and England, visiting Cardiff, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Bristol before hitting Llandudno and then Southampton.

The Season received some wonderful responses from audiences and critics alike, with each opera appealing to different tastes. From the stage design to the voices, the costumes to the Orchestra’s playing, all have been praised and we love being able to share such feedback with the Company and you:

…there were musical compensations along the way, notably in Mary Elizabeth Williams’ expansively phrased and vividly delivered Amelia, Gwyn Hughes Jones’ bold and bracing Riccardo and Roland Wood’s commanding Renato; Fulgoni’s Ulrica was drawn on a grand vocal scale and Martin du Theil’s Oscar energised and precise.

Above all it was in the work of conductor laureate Carlo Rizzi and the company’s vital orchestra and thrilling chorus that WNO’s Verdian values were at their highest and most stylistically satisfying.

Opera Now, March 2019

Welsh National Opera’s new staging of the opera that crowns the middle of Verdi’s career is musically very fine indeed, with exceptional performances from all its principals’ ‘More crucially, conductor Carlo Rizzi presides over a cast and orchestra on terrific form.

The Guardian, 10 February 2019
The Telegraph
The Times
The Times

Anna Siminska, a firebrand Queen of the Night already seen at Covent Garden, nailed her glittering high notes in both arias and was attended by one of the best-sung trios of ladies I can remember: Jennifer Davis, Kezia Bienek and Emma Carrington.

The Sunday Times, 24 March 2019

Welsh National Opera's revival of Dominic Cooke's 2005 Magic Flute is an unabashedly entertaining evening of operatic pantomime’ ‘…plenty of fun and there was a steady stream of giggles every minute or two…

Bachtrack, 19 February 2019

Such a stylized, boldly anachronistic approach brought a stark and brutal edge to the torment of emotions central to this opera and, at its barest and most minimal, a sharp focus to the drama.’ ‘From its explosive opening chords through to the ominously predictive timpani rolls, the overture proved the orchestra of WNO to be in dynamic form…

Opera, May 2019

What a thrilling evening of five-star singing – it’s a long time since I have heard its like, and it reminded me how in all the irritable current debate over production style, we have rather lost the sense that the fundamental medium of opera’s power is the human voice.’ ‘As the Virgin Queen, Joyce El-Khoury gives a performance of extraordinary intensity…she gives it everything she’s got and then some, making her final cavatina “Vivi, ingrate” something of aching sadness and beauty.

The Telegraph, 1 March 2019
The Stage

Now that Spring is a wrap, rehearsals are well under way for our summer performances: Don Pasquale and FREEDOM Season. With a number of concerts and other orchestral performances happening too over the next few months, there’s never a quiet time here at WNO.