Welsh National Opera Announce 2012 Spring Season - La Traviata, Beatrice and Benedict & The Marriage Of Figaro

Welsh National Opera’s 2012 spring season focuses on matters of the heart, seen from a women’s perspective. Rebecca Evans, Sara Fulgoni and Joyce El-Khoury, a rising star from the New York Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Programme, take centre stage.

Love hurts: David McVicar’s highly acclaimed production of Verdi’s La traviata, set in 19th century Paris, returns to open the new season at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, on Saturday 11 February. Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury makes her European debut in the role of Violetta; Mexican tenor Carlos Osuna sings the role of Alfredo Germont in his debut for the company. Conductor Julia Jones is also making her WNO debut. McVicar’s detailed production evokes a world where the aspirations of a young courtesan Violetta Valèry are cruelly defeated by social convention, leaving her to make the ultimate sacrifice for love.

In the mood for love?: Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is the inspiration for Berlioz’s opera, here transformed to a Mediterranean setting rich in colour and atmosphere. Beatrice and Benedict are possibly the most famous quarrelsome couples in western art. Will they make it to the altar on time, or will their feuding repartee destroy their tempestuous love affair? Elijah Moshinsky’s production is performed for the first time in a decade with Sara Fulgoni returning to sing the role of Beatrice, with Robin Tritschler as her sparring partner Benedict.
Donald Maxwell also returns in the role of Somarone and Laura Mitchell takes on the role of Hero. The conductor is Michael Hofstetter.

I’m getting married in the morning: Rebecca Evans sang the role of Countess Almaviva for the first time in 2009 in Luis Pasqual’s stylish production of The Marriage of Figaro for WNO, set in the early 1930s. She makes a welcome return to the role in this revival, bringing poignancy and insight to the plight of the Countess who is slighted by her husband’s attempts to seduce the household maid Susanna, Elizabeth Watts on her wedding day.  The cast also includes David Soar as Figaro, Dario Solari as Count Almaviva and Cora Burggraaf as Cherubino. The conductor is Anthony Negus.

Away from the mainstage, the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera continues its series of highly acclaimed concerts as part of the International Concert Series at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, on
Friday 27 January. Frederic Chaslin is conductor and soloist for a programme that features Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Adams, The Chairman Dances and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2.

On Monday 12 March, Welsh National Opera premieres a new oratorio Gair ar Gnawd (Word on the Flesh) by Pwyll ap Sion with a libretto from award winning Welsh poet Menna Elfyn. The premiere of this Welsh language oratorio is being staged at Galeri, Caernarfon in North Wales.

Gair ar Gnawd tells the story of a David and Goliath struggle between the developers of a large casino and a local community whose lives are under threat. The story is seen through the eyes of Awen, a tattooist, and Anwar, a translator, both running businesses in a converted chapel threatened with the unwanted casino development.

The libretto mixes the voices of construction workers, developers, a local councillor and a community anxious to make their voices heard against a despised planning decision. A community choir will join two soloists from WNO Chorus and an ensemble of musicians to create the piece. 

More information on Welsh National Opera's website: