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Explore the world of opera with Welsh National Opera’s new podcast.
Our podcast has two series; one in English – The O Word - and one in Welsh – Cipolwg.
Both series delve into the wider work and reach of WNO and highlight how opera connects to our lives today. Whether on stage or in the community, discover the inner-workings of a touring company and how opera can transform lives.
The O Word
Both series are available to download from a number of podcast directories, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Simply search for ‘The O Word’, ‘Cipolwg’ or ‘Welsh National Opera’ on your preferred podcast application and remember to subscribe.
The O Word
The O Word
Join journalist and opera enthusiast Gareth Jones as he explores the world of opera, both on stage and off. With guests ranging from internationally-renowned musicians to leading figures in arts, culture and beyond, Gareth tries to answer some of opera’s burning questions.
Episode 1: What does it take to be an opera singer?
Gareth sits down with tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones to discover what it takes – physically, mentally and spiritually – to be an opera singer in 2020. At a time when many singers face isolation away from the stage, how important is it to stay positive and active? What methods can be used to protect and maintain a voice during lockdown?
Episode 2: Is there a future for opera?
Does opera have an image problem? Gareth looks to the future of opera with Aidan Lang (General Director, WNO) and James Clutton (Director, Opera Holland Park. Gareth is also joined by leading figures in youth opera; Dan Perkin and Sian Cameron, to discuss the intricacies of training opera’s next generation.
Episode 3: How do you write a new opera? – The Music
Gareth investigates how contemporary writers approach creating an opera from scratch. As opera is a medium known for reviving and reinventing established works, what are the essential components needed for a brand-new opera to be representative of today? Celebrated composer Will Todd explains his process and performs extracts from his new opera Migrations.
Episode 4: How do you write a new opera? – The Libretto
Gareth meets writers Shreya Sen-Handley, Edson Burton and Miles Chambers, to discover more about their unique approaches to writing a libretto for the first time. Acclaimed librettist Emma Jenkins, known for works such as In Parenthesis, also joins Gareth to discuss her writing process.
Episode 5: Is singing good for you?
Gareth talks to WNO producer Jennifer Hill about the formation of Welsh National Opera’s Cradle Choir, a project which brings together 96 primary school children and people living with dementia for a shared choral experience. He also its down with Celi Barberia from the Sing Up Foundation to discuss the wider implications and health benefits of singing. Can singing really improve your physical and mental health?
Join comedian, journalist and lifelong opera fan Lorna Prichard as she glances into the world of opera. Lorna interacts with singers, conductors, experts and audience members whilst investigating the weird and wonderful side of opera and classical music.
Episode 1: The Italian Job
This week, world-renowned conductor Carlo Rizzi chats with Lorna about the enduring popularity of Giuseppe Verdi. Lorna dissects one of Verdi’s rediscovered operas Les vêpres siciliennes during this episode’s interval drinks. And we find out what makes Verdi the ‘big cheese’ of opera with some opera trivia from Elin Jones, dramaturg for WNO .
Episode 2: The Other Woman
Keen to find out more about the role of women in opera, Lorna sits down with Soprano Elin Pritchard. Together they discuss the most influential female characters in opera. And what better place for this week’s interval drinks than WNO’s new production of Carmen, in which Elin makes her debut as Micaëla. Later, WNO’S Dramaturg Elin Jones reunites with Lorna for a spot of Carmen trivia.
Episode 3: Mozart in the Jungle
Lorna meets baritone John Ieuan Jones and rediscovers her passion for Mozart. We then join her for interval drinks during The Marriage of Figaro. What makes this Mozart favourite stand the test of time? And later, find out everything you need to know about the child genius composer with Elin. Did Mozart really write the overture to Don Giovanni the day of the performance?
Episode 4: Music is always with you
Lorna meets WNO Chorus member Sian Meinir and talks about her involvement with some of WNO’s exciting youth and community projects. This week’s interval drinks comes with a twist, as Lorna interacts with audience members following a WNO community concert at Galeri, Caernarfon. And just as he turns 250, Beethoven is the subject of this week’s opera trivia.