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Tickets for the individual operas in our Summer 2020 Season are now on sale. Opening with a brand new production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle starring Sir Bryn Terfel in a double-bill alongside Stravinsky’s The Nightingale, the Season also includes our ever-popular The Barber of Seville by Rossini. There will also be a free, family Explore Opera Day alongside a stand-alone performance of The Nightingale as part of our summer residence here in Cardiff.
The productions provide an intriguing mix. Both parts of our double-bill are based on fairy tales, Stravinsky having based his on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen and Bartók’s on a Charles Perrault tale.
Bartók wrote Bluebeard’s Castle in 1911 and as well as being a short piece, in just one act, the story is centred around just two characters – Bluebeard (Bryn Terfel) and his wife, Judith (Michelle DeYoung) - who tell this dark, psychological tale.
This will be the first time that Bryn Terfel has sung in a full-scale production with WNO since his acclaimed performance in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in 2010, and we are delighted to welcome him back to the Company to perform alongside American mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung who has achieved great success on both the opera and concert stages. Sir David Pountney directs.
The Nightingale was written over a six year period between 1908 and 1914, as Stravinsky wrote his ballet The Firebird, and also The Rite of Spring in between starting and finishing the opera. Sung in Russian, often called by its French name Le rossignol, yet set in China, The Nightingale will be directed by world-renowned puppeteer Mark Down and feature innovative life-sized puppets from his theatre company Blind Summit in effect reflecting the mechanical nightingale in the story.
The double-bill will be conducted by WNO Music Director Tomáš Hanus.
The Barber of Seville, Rossini’s much-loved comic opera, was written a century earlier than the operas in our double-bill – in 1816 – and is based on a Beaumarchais play. Summer 2020 sees our 1986 Giles Havergal production (last performed in 2011) back on stage, so expect a traditional, hilarity-filled, feel-good night out, with one of opera’s most-loved characters, Figaro, at the centre of the fun.
Returning to WNO for The Barber of Seville are Matteo Macchioni and Fabio Capitanucci who both appeared in La Cenerentola in 2018, along with Conductor Kerem Hasan who worked with WNO as an Associate Conductor in our 2017/2018 Season.