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WNO cancels spring 2025 visit to Llandudno

Cancelled - visits to North Wales next spring by previously-announced WNO productions
Cancelled - visits to North Wales next spring by previously-announced WNO productions

Just 10 weeks after announcing a schedule of four operas and a family show at the Venue Cymru theatre in Llandudno in the 2024-25 season, Welsh National Opera has had to cancel its May 2025 visit completely as a result of budget cuts.

The cancellation follows the failure by Arts Council England and the Arts Council of Wales to deliver grant funding at the standstill level applied for.

Gone from North Wales are 2025 performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Britten’s Peter Grimes (the latter a new production), and a “Play Opera LIVE” concert presented by Tom Redmond, aimed at introducing new audiences to opera and classical music – see our previous article here for the details.

Performances in October this year of Verdi’s Rigoletto and two of the three parts of Puccini’s one-acter triptych Il Trittico – the tragedy Suor Angelica and the comic Gianni Schicchi – plus a concert of “Opera Favourites at the Movies”, will go ahead.

A planned visit to Bristol in February 2025 with similar content to Venue Cymru’s has also been cancelled, and a revival of Rigoletto in Cardiff that month will be replaced with an “Opera Favourites” programme.

The 2025 schedule of The Marriage of Figaro, Peter Grimes and the “Play Opera LIVE” concert remains intact for the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff (with a shortened Marriage of Figaro on one night, designed for newcomers to opera), and will tour to Southampton and Plymouth, while the two operas will also play in Birmingham and Milton Keynes, and The Marriage of Figaro plus “Play Opera LIVE” will go to Swansea.

WNO describes the revised schedule as having “no impact on our commitment to extending our reach throughout Wales”.

The company’s funding has been reduced by £2.2m (35 per cent down on the previous level) by Arts Council England, and by around £500,000 (11.8 per cent down) by Arts Council Wales. This result of the cuts stands in contrast to ACE avowals of support for opera outside London and the south of England, including a controversial plan to make English National Opera move its base from London to Manchester some time towards the end of the present decade.

WNO Interim General Director Christopher Barron said: “Our new financial situation means we have the challenge of balancing a reduced budget while maintaining artistic standards in providing a stimulating programme of performance and engagement activities.

“We are pleased to still be visiting Venue Cymru in the autumn with our new production of Rigoletto and with Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, as well as our Opera Favourites concert.  We also continue to work across Wales with our concert programme and with our community and engagement work, which will include a creative project in schools across Conwy in 2024/2025.”

More info here


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