Thursday, 15 February 2018

War, Peace, Assassination and Amnesty: Welsh National Opera 2018-19

Janacek: From the House of the Dead - Welsh National Opera (Photo Clive Barda)
Janacek: From the House of the Dead - Welsh National Opera (Photo Clive Barda)
Welsh National Opera has announced its plans for the 2018-19 season. Bold ones they are too, and to be treasured all the more warmly because this is David Pountney's final year as artistic director. The season opens strongly with a new production of Prokofiev's War and Peace, conducted by Tomáš Hanus, alongside revivals of David McVicar's production of La traviata conducted by James Southall, and Joan Font's production of Rossini's La Cenerentola conducted by Tomáš Hanus. Spring 2019 sees the second of Pountney's Verdi trilogy, Un ballo in maschera conducted by Carlo Rizzi with revivals of Dominic Cooke's production of The Magic Flute, and a welcome return of Alessandro Talevi's production of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux conducted by Carlo Rizzi. The summer season is something different an amnesty themed season with semi-staged productions of operas involving the main company, youth opera and community chorus.

War and Peace will be given in a performing version based on Katya Ermolaeva and Rita McAllister’s new critical edition of Prokofiev’s original score, and will be sung in English. Lauren Michelle (last seen as Jessica in Andre Tchaikowsky's The Merchant of Venice) will be Natasha with Jonathan McGovern as Andrei and Mark LeBrocq as Pierre.

Irish mezzo-soprano Tarra Erraught will be singing the title role in La Cenerentola with three Italian singers making their WNO debuts, Matteo Macchioni (Don Ramiro), Fabio Capitanucci (Don Magnifico) and Giorgio Caoduro (Dandini). The title role in La traviata will be shared between Anush Hovhannisyan (who created a strong impression in the role with Scottish Opera last year) and Linda Richardson with Kang Wang as Alfredo and Roland Wood as Germont.

In the Spring season, the role of Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera will be sung by Gwyn Hughes-Jones (who made a strong impression in this year's La forza del destino) and Sara Fulgoni will be Ulrica. In the revival of Roberto Devereux, Joyce El-Khoury will be Elisabetta, with Justina Gringyte as Sara and Gary Griffiths as Nottingham.

During Autumn 2018 there will be further performances of Elena Langer's Rhondda Rips it Up! Also in the Autumn, David Pountney's production of Janacek's From the House of the Dead will be performed at the Janacek Brno Festival.

Further information from the Welsh National Opera website.

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