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That’s a wrap on Autumn 2018

27 November 2018

It’s the end of another Season and what a Season it has been.

Autumn 2018 opened with David Pountney’s new production of War and Peace, swiftly followed by the revival of two WNO favourites – a sumptuous production of La traviata and a colourful La Cenerentola. Alongside our main productions we also took our five-star cabaret-opera Rhondda Rips It Up! back out on the road, taking in additional cities in Wales and England. 

Autumn 2018 Season in number


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New productionRevival productionsCompany debutsConductorsLocationsReviewsAward

Epic in every way, War and Peacestunned audiences with its scale, from sets and costumes to the number of people involved in the production on stage, in the pit and behind the scenes. Having received 4* and 5* reviews across the board, the production was a hit with reviewers and audiences alike. 


War and Peace also saw our favourite pair reunite – WNO Artistic Director David Pountney and WNO Music Director Tomáš Hanus. The success of this pairing was proven half way through the tour when it was announced that we had won the Achievement in Opera Award for Artistic Leadership at the 2018 UK Theatre Awards.

Bringing a touch of glamour and opulence to the Season, we had the revival of our much-loved 2009 production of La traviata, conducted by James Southall. This year we had two leading ladies taking on the role of Violetta, WNO regular, Linda Richardson and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017 semi-finalist Anush Hovhannisyan. We also welcomed Kang Wang, making his role and company debut, as the young Alfredo. 


Last but not least, the main scale Season ended on a comic note, with our first revival of Rossini’s La Cenerentola since we premiered the production in 2007. The candy-coloured adaptation of Rossini’s Cinderella did not disappoint. With a stellar line-up including Tara Erraught, Matteo Macchioni, Fabio Capitanucci and Wojtek Gierlach, the production was a hit with both new and younger audience as well as the regular opera goers. We were proud to receive some fantastic reviews and comments


In-between the three main scale productions, our thigh slapping romp Rhondda Rips It Up!, conducted by Nicola Rose, went out on the second part of its tour. Described as ‘bursting with irreverent joy’ by The Times and, it proved a huge hit with audiences and critics alike. 


We would like to say a huge thank you to all who joined us. We have had a terrific few months on the road.

Looking ahead, one King and two Queens form our Spring 2019 Season. Love, power and politics collide in the new production directed by David Pountney of Un ballo in maschera, based on the real life assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden.  Alongside this we revive our critically-acclaimed production of Roberto Devereux, as well as the irresistible and enchanting opera, The Magic Flute.

Each season we audio describe one opera and provide an accompanying touch tour to enable our audience members with visual impairments a greater understanding of the production. Next Season it is Mozart’s The Magic Flute. More information on where you can watch it with live audio description can be found here.

There is an opportunity to get closer to our operas with our free pre-performance talks (ticketed in advance via the venue ticket offices) across the tour, given by Elin Jones, our Nicholas John Dramaturg. During these talks Elin will discuss the origins of the opera, along with an outline of the production you are about to see. We also have our Opera Insight event, hosted by WNO Artistic Director David Pountney at Wales Millennium Centre on 27 January.