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Welsh National Opera: The  2008/2009 Season  (BK)

Verdi’s Otello opens WNO’s new Autumn season. Renowned director
Paul Curran makes his UK opera debut. The cast includes Verdi Medal winner Dennis O’Neill (Otello); Olivier award winner Amanda Roocroft (Desdemona) and David Kempster (Iago).

Internationally acclaimed Welsh soprano
Rebecca Evans makes her role debut as the Countess in Lluis Pasqual’s new production of The Marriage of Figaro. David Soar, former member of WNO’s Chorus and now Associate Artist, makes his title role debut and Cardiff-born soprano Rosemary Joshua makes her WNO debut as Susanna.

Katie Mitchell returns to WNO to direct Janáček’s Jenůfa, a production widely regarded as a landmark in musical theatre. In Autumn 2007, Katie Mitchell directed WNO’s world premiere of James MacMillan’s The Sacrifice. Nuccia Focile sings the title role.

Swedish-American soprano Erika Sunnegardh sings the title role in Richard Strauss’s
Salome. The conductor is Lothar Koenigs who conducted WNO’s production of Khovanshchina in 2007.

Sweetness and Badness, a new chamber opera by Will Todd, will tour the UK in Spring 2009. The director is Jonathan Munby, formerly of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the cast is drawn from WNO’s Chorus.


19, 24, 27 September; 4 & 11 October 2008 at 7.15pm

The sumptuous backdrop of Renaissance Venice sets the scene for Paul Curran’s new production of Verdi’s masterpiece. Curran, a former dancer with Scottish Ballet, is the new General Manager of Norwegian Opera. The conductor is Carlo Rizzi, WNO’s former Music Director.

Otello -Dennis O’Neill

Desdemon - Amanda Roocroft
Iago - David Kempster
Lodovico - David Soar
Cassio - Wynne Evans
Emilia - Claire Bradshaw

Conductor - Carlo Rizzi
Director - Paul Curran
Designer  - Paul Edwards
Lighting Designer -  David Jacques

Co-production with Canadian Opera Company
Supported by WNO Partnership  Sung in Italian with English and Welsh surtitles.


7, 11, 13, 21, 25 & 28 February 2009 at 7.00pm

Catalan director Lluis Pasqual directs a new production of what is widely regarded as Mozart’s most perfect opera. The cast includes Rebecca Evans, David Soar and Rodion Pogossov, a former member of Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Arts Development Programme. The conductor is Michael Hofstetter.

Figaro - David Soar

Susann - Rosemary Joshua
Count Almaviva - Rodion Pogossov
Countess Almaviva -  Rebecca Evans
Cherubino - Cora Burggraaf
Doctor Bartolo - Henry Waddington
Marcellina - tbc
Don Basilio - Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts
Antonio - Arwel Huw Morgan

Conductor - Michael Hofstetter
Director - Lluis Pasqual
Set Designer - Paco Azorin
Lighting Designer - lbert Faura

Co-production with Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Supported by a generous gift from the Parry Family.
Sung in Italian with English and Welsh surtitles


26 & 28 September; 3 & 9 October 2008 at 7.15pm (except Sun 28 at 4pm)

Rossini’s perfect comic opera is one of WNO’s all-time favourites – and prequel to The Marriage of Figaro which is being performed in Spring 2009.

The cast includes
Colin Lee, who sang the role of Don Ramiro in WNO’s Cinderella in Autumn 2007 and Welsh soprano Laura Parfitt makes her role debut as Rosina. Giles Havergal returns to direct.

Figaro - John Moore

Rosina - Laura Parfitt
Count - Almaviva  Colin Lee
Bartolo - Eric Roberts
Basili - Tim Mirfin
Berta - Naomi Harvey

Conductor - Gareth Jones
Director - Giles Havergal
Designer  - Russell Craig
Original Lighting Designe - Davy Cunningham

Co-production with Opera North and Vancouver Opera
Sung in English with English and Welsh surtitles



JENŮFA   Janáček
8, 10 October 2008 at 7.15pm

Katie Mitchell’s lyrical and intensely theatrical interpretation of Janáĉek’s tragic opera. The cast includes Nuccia Focile, who sang Elisabeth de Valois in WNO’s Don Carlos in 2005, Peter Hoare, who created the role of Mal in James MacMillan’s new opera The Sacrifice, premiered by WNO in 2007 and Susan Bickley, who sang Storge in Katie Mitchell’s production of Jephtha for WNO.

Jenůfa - Nuccia Focile

Kostelnička Buryjovka - Susan Bickley
Laca Klemeň - Peter Hoare
Grandmother Buryja - Susan Gorton
Števa Buryja - tbc
Foreman - Eddie Wade
Karolka - Charlotte Ellett

Conductor - Sian Edwards

Director - Katie Mitchell
Designer - Vicki Mortimer
Lighting Designer - Nigel J Edwards
Movement Director - Struan Leslie

Supported by the Friends of WNO

Co-Production with Grand Théâtre de Genève
Sung in Czech with English and Welsh surtitles



SALOME Richard Strauss
24 & 26 February 2009 at 8pm

André Engel’s production of Salome returns with an impressive cast, including Erika Sunnegardh in the title role, Sally Burgess, Matthew Best and Peter Hoare, who sang in WNO’s award winning production of Wozzeck. Erika Sunnegardh made a memorable debut at Metropolitan Opera in 2006 in Beethoven’s Fidelio; in 2008 she will appear in Die Walkűre at the Salzburg Festival under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

Salome - Erika Sunnegårdh
Herod  - Peter Hoare
Herodias - Sally Burgess
Jokanaan - Matthew Best
Page to Herodias - Anna Burford
Narraboth - Wynne Evans
First Jew - Alasdair Elliott

Conductor - Lothar Koenigs

Director - André Engel
Set Designer - Nick Rieti
Costume Designer - Elizabeth Neumuller
Lighting Designer -André Diot
Choregrapher -  Françoise Grès

Co-production with Scottish Opera
Sung in German with English and Welsh surtitles



THE ELIXIR of LOVE   Donizetti
12, 14, 22 & 27 February 2009 at 7.15pm (except 22 at 4pm)

Neapolitan 50’s glamour is brought to life in Daniel Slater’s enchanting production of Donizetti’s romantic story. The cast includes New York tenor Dimitri Pittas who has been compared to a young Placido Domingo and who recently sung Macduff in Adrian Noble’s production of Macbeth at Metropolitan Opera. Welsh soprano Camilla Roberts takes the role of Adina.

Nemorino - Dimitri Pittas (to 21 March)
(tbc from 26 March)
Adina - Camilla Roberts
Belcore  -Roland Wood
Dulcamara - Neal Davies
Giannetta - tbc

Conductor - Rory Macdonald

Director - Daniel Slater
Associate Director - Vanessa Gray
Designer - Robert Innes Hopkins
Lighting Designer - Simon Mills

An Opera North Production

Sung in Italian with English and Welsh surtitles


LA BOHÈME  Puccini
18, 20 May; 3, 5, 6 June 2009 at 7.15pm

The last performances of this much-loved production of Puccini’s poignant opera about love amongst the artists of Bohemian Paris. Goran Jarvefelt’s production brings 19th century Paris to life in a series of stunning tableaux. Rebecca Evans and Gwyn Hughes Jones both return to sing the roles of Mimi and Rodolfo respectively, following their acclaimed performances in 2006’s revival.

Mimi - Rebecca Evans (excluding 5 June)
 Naomi Harvey (5 June)
Rodolfo - Gwyn Hughes Jones
Marcello - Jason Howard
Musetta - tbc
Schaunard - tbc
Colline - David Soar

Conductor - tbc

Original Director - Göran Järvefelt
Designer - Michael Yeargan
Lighting Designer - John Waterhouse

Sung in Italian with English and Welsh surtitles


13, 16, 19 May; 4 June 2009 at 7pm

Richard Jones’s critically acclaimed production of Tchaikovsky’s operatic masterpiece. The cast includes the role debut of Ann Murray as the Countess, who recently sang in WNO’s performance of The Damnation of Faust (2007).

Tchekalinsky - Hubert Francis

Sourin - David Soar
Herman - tbc
Count Tomsky - Tomas Tomasson
Prince Yeletsky - bc
The Countess - Ann Murray
Lisa -tbc
Pauline - Alexandra Sherman

Conductor - Alexander Polianichko

Original Director - Richard Jones
Revival Director - Benjamin Davis
Designer - John Macfarlane
Lighting Designer - Jennifer Tipton
Choreographer - Linda Dobell


Co-production with Den Norske Opera & Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Sung in Russian with English and Welsh surtitles



2 June 2009 at 7pm

All Cast - tbc

Conductor - Sir Charles Mackerras


Sung in Italian with English and Welsh surtitles

Bill Kenny

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