Thursday, 26 February 2015

Preview | WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Spring Season at Birmingham Hippodrome

A season of enchantment and delight is on offer from Welsh National Opera this spring with a trio of spellbinding productions which will come to Birmingham Hippodrome between 4-7 March 2015.

Spellbound is the theme for Spring 2015, which will highlight the natural affinity between music and magic with revivals of Hansel & Gretel and The Magic Flute alongside a new production: Chorus!

Chorus! opens the opera company's Spring 2015 Season. This new version, also under the creative vision and direction of David Pountney, celebrates one of WNO’s greatest assets, the Chorus. Chorus! will feature soprano Lesley Garrett CBE performing alongside the WNO Chorus, and will be an enchanting, witty and spectacular journey through the rich repertoire of choral music and a chance to experience some of opera’s best-loved moments.

The production will include opera classics such as the ‘Humming Chorus’ from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and ‘Va Pensiero’ from Verdi’s Nabucco alongside the Epigraph from Prokofiev’s War and Peace and ‘Alabama Song’ from Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Two pieces from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance will also feature: ‘A Policeman’s Lot’ and ‘With Cat-like Tread’. Chorus! will be conducted by WNO Chorus Master, Alexander Martin.

View the trailer for Chorus!

Classic revivals of The Magic Flute and Hansel & Gretel will transport the audience into a world of magic, make-believe and delight, but are also ultimately about the power of rationalism over magic. WNO Music Director Lothar Koenigs will conduct both Hansel & Gretel and The Magic Flute.

Mozart’s much-loved The Magic Flute returns to WNO in this Magritte-inspired production – originally directed by Dominic Cooke – which features an angry lobster, a newspaper-reading lion and a fish that is transformed into a bicycle. The roles of the three boys will be sung by female students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama as part of WNO’s partnership with the college to provide mentoring and support for its Opera Performance students.

View the trailer for The Magic Flute

The revival of Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel – originally directed by Richard Jones – is a dark re-telling of the well-known fairytale. Ailish Tynan will sing Gretel and Jurgita Adamonyt√© will sing Hansel. Adrian Thompson, who returns to WNO following his performances in Boulevard Solitude in Spring 2013, will sing the role of The Witch.

Listen to a sample from Hansel & Gretel

Describing the Spring season, WNO Chief Executive and Artistic Director David Pountney says: “Enchantment is a feeling that awakens the child in all of us, and The Magic Flute and Hansel and Gretel offer plenty of such moments of naive delight. Both operas too, like all good fairy tales, have a serious point to make, and show a young couple learning how to read and understand the good and the bad that is in the world, emerging stronger and ready for a better future. Our production of Chorus! too is like one of those walks in the woods that are the common fare of fairy tales: where will it lead - is there a happy ending, or indeed an ending at all? It is in fact a kind of mystery tour in the company of 40 of our best and finest singers - so whatever the ending means, you can be sure it will be a rousing one!”


CHORUS | Wed 4 March Book Here
THE MAGIC FLUTE | Thurs 5 & Fri 6 March Book Here
HANSEL & GRETEL | Sat 7 March Book Here

Image from Hansel & Gretel

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