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Melanie Eskenazi

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Bill Kenny


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Welsh National Opera: the 2007/2008 season (BK)


A world premiere, two new productions, the return of the internationally acclaimed Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and acclaimed European opera and theatre director Peter Stein to WNO are just some of the highlights featuring in the first season announced last Thursday (18th January) by John Fisher, WNO’s General Director.

“Over the next 12 months, WNO is showcasing an extraordinary range of productions, from the world premiere of James MacMillan’s opera The Sacrifice to a brand new production of Aida. We welcome the return of some of the world’s most celebrated singers, including Bryn Terfel, Rebecca Evans and Dennis O’Neill, as well as acclaimed directors Peter Stein, John Caird and Katie Mitchell,” he says.

“WNO’s renowned Music Director Carlo Rizzi will be conducting two major new productions, Rossini’s Cinderella and Verdi’s Aida, whilst James MacMillan will conduct performances of The Sacrifice, which has been commissioned by WNO. The Liverpool Culture Company (Liverpool 2008) are production partners on The Sacrifice.

“Another new commission from the award-winning composer Errollyn Wallen will see the unique history of South Wales explored in music and song,” John Fisher adds. “Carbon 12 – A Choral Symphony demonstrates another side to WNO’s work: the development of new opportunities for emerging talents in this field, combined with performance opportunities for members of the community. Carbon 12 – A Choral Symphony features brass bands and a community choir alongside the Chorus and Orchestra of WNO.”

The Season's Highlights

WNO gives the world premiere of a brand new commission from one of the most talented and remarkable composers working today, James MacMillan. The Sacrifice explores themes from the Welsh folktales The Mabinogion, as well as contemporary issues of violence and reconciliation. James MacMillan conducts. Katie Mitchell returns to WNO to direct.

A new production of Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola) created by WNO and the Barcelona-based Comediants, one of Europe’s most inventive theatre production teams. Italian mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato makes her UK debut.

Bryn Terfel returns to WNO to sing the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff in Cardiff, Birmingham and Llandudno – a revival of Peter Stein’s landmark production for the Company, which will once again be directed by the acclaimed European theatre and opera director. It is Bryn Terfel’s only scheduled opera appearance in 2008.

The centrepiece of WNO’s Summer 2008 season is a much-anticipated new production of Aida, conducted by WNO’s Music Director Carlo Rizzi and directed by John Caird, two of the creative team responsible for the Company’s hugely successful epic Don Carlos. The cast of Aida will include Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill, widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s greatest Verdian tenors.

Award winning composer Errollyn Wallen makes her debut with WNO with Carbon 12 – A Choral Symphony, a celebration in music and song of South Wales’s unique history, its landscape and its people.

St David’s Day will be marked in grand style in 2008 with the WNO Falstaff Gala Preview, a unique opportunity to be the first to see and hear Bryn Terfel, the world’s greatest Falstaff, in WNO’s internationally acclaimed 1988 production by Peter Stein. A range of hospitality packages and tickets is available for approximately £100 - £600.

Bill Kenny


The WNO web site is here

WNO Press Office Contacts:

Penny Simpson, Head of Press on 029 20 635036


Catriona Chatterley, Senior Press Officer on 029 20 635038 catriona.chatterley@wno.org.uk


Dana Thomas, Press Officer on 029 20 635037 dana.thomas@wno.org.uk



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Contributors: Marc Bridle (North American Editor), Martin Anderson, Patrick Burnson, Frank Cadenhead, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Geoff Diggines, Sarah Dunlop, Evan Dickerson Melanie Eskenazi (London Editor) Robert J Farr, Abigail Frymann, Göran Forsling, Simon Hewitt-Jones, Bruce Hodges,Tim Hodgkinson, Martin Hoyle, Bernard Jacobson, Tristan Jakob-Hoff, Ben Killeen, Bill Kenny (Regional Editor), Ian Lace, Jean Martin, John Leeman, Neil McGowan, Bettina Mara, Robin Mitchell-Boyask, Simon Morgan, Aline Nassif, Anne Ozorio, Ian Pace, John Phillips, Jim Pritchard, John Quinn, Peter Quantrill, Alex Russell, Paul Serotsky, Harvey Steiman, Christopher Thomas, John Warnaby, Hans-Theodor Wolhfahrt, Peter Grahame Woolf (Founder & Emeritus Editor)