Welsh National Opera announces London residency at the Royal Opera House

Welsh National Opera has announced that it will perform in London in an exciting new collaboration with the Royal Opera House. An initial series of three operas will be seen in the Capital including the first London performances of Richard Ayres’s Peter Pan.

Over three years WNO will stage the productions in the main house starting in 2014 with Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron. This will be followed in 2015 with Peter Pan and there will be a new commission in 2016 to commemorate WNO’s 70th birthday.

Welsh National Opera’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director David Pountney said:

“The new collaboration between WNO and the ROH represents a very significant artistic and cultural partnership. We are thrilled to have the chance to present over the next three years some of our most ambitious programming within the prestigious surroundings of the ROH – at the same time a superb platform for WNO’s work and an enrichment of the ROH repertoire. This three year programme creates artistic gains for both organisations, which are keen to affirm the importance of artistic collaboration and ambition in a time of financial stress“.

The summer performances in London will follow performances of these works by the Company in both Cardiff and Birmingham. 

WNO’s regular London seasons began with the Amoco Festival of Opera at the Dominion Theatre in 1979 and it was the first regional company to perform at Covent Garden with Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 1986, subsequently returning in 1988 with Falstaff and in 1995 with The Yeomen of the Guard.  Among other notable London visits, the Company also performed The Flying Dutchman at the Coliseum in 2006. This new series of contemporary works will be the first time WNO has performed a main house production in London since James MacMillan’s The Sacrifice at Sadler’s Wells in 2007. A fundraising campaign to support WNO’s return to London is now underway.

Director of Opera for The Royal Opera Kasper Holten commented:

“I am very excited about being able to host WNO at Covent Garden. In this era, collaboration is key, and I do believe that the more opera companies can collaborate and work together, the stronger case we will all be able to make for opera – and the wider choice of repertory we will be able to offer. I am thrilled about David's exciting plans for WNO over the next years, and we are very happy to be able to showcase some of their most exciting projects in three consecutive years.”

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

“This is a challenging time for arts organisations who need to find new ways to keep making great art – and making great art is the key to everything. This collaboration is a wonderful example of new thinking that will yield special things artistically.   

 “With many other opera fans I’m looking forward to WNO’s return to London with what looks like some fantastic new productions.”