Welsh National Opera’s spring 2024 season opens with two new productions; an operatic favourite from Mozart, and a rare chance to see Britten’s final opera.
First is a new production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte under the baton of WNO music director Tomas Hanus. Max Hoehn returns to direct this coming-of-age tale which takes audiences back to school, where four young students discover the highs and lows of falling in love.
The production is designed by Jemima Robinson, who takes her visual inspiration from the 1970s, with a familiar classroom, canteen and locker room school set-up and vintage textbook illustrations.
Soprano Sophie Bevan returns to WNO to sing the role of Fiordiligi, and Welsh soprano Rebecca Evans returns as Despina, who in this production is depicted as a dinner lady. Making their role debuts are Kayleigh Decker (Dorabella), Egor Zhuravskii (Ferrando) and James Atkinson (Guglielmo) who alongside Sophie Bevan make up the foursome of young lovers. Also joining the cast is Jose Fardilha as Don Alfonso. The production can be seen in Llandudno in March (Venue Cymru, March 14&16).
WNO will also stage a new production of Britten’s Death in Venice – the first time the company will have staged the work. Olivia Fuchs returns to WNO to direct.
Based on Thomas Mann’s novella, the story follows writer Gustav von Aschenbach’s time in Venice, where he develops an infatuation with a young boy that causes him to ignore contagion warnings and stay too long in the city. The opera can be seen in Llandudno on March 13.
Company NoFit State will bring a mixture of acrobatics that will incorporate silks and other circus elements, interwoven throughout the opera, exploring an edgy quirkiness and adding to the lyricism of the piece.
British conductor Leo Hussain will make his company debut with the new production. Mark Le Brocq will play Aschenbach, with Roderick Williams as the Traveller, guiding him towards his fate. Alexander Chance will sing the countertenor role of the Voice of Apollo. Also joining the cast and making his company debut in the role of the boy, Tadzio will be Antony Cesar – a variety and circus performer.
The company will also perform an Opera Favourites concert, offering audiences the chance to hear and enjoy some of the best-known operatic pieces from Mozart, Verdi, Britten and Puccini and others.
For details of the full season, go to the company’s website here