Preview: Welsh National Opera, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Preview: Welsh National Opera, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Welsh National Opera’s (WNO) Autumn Season, which comes to Mayflower Theatre from Wednesday 23 to Saturday 26 November, includes new productions of The Makropulos Affair and La bohème, and the return of the ground-breaking new opera, Migrations.

The Makropulos Affair is directed by Olivia Fuchs and conducted by WNO’s Music Director, Tomáš Hanus. Based on a play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek, the opera tells the tale of a woman who can never die after taking an elixir of life nearly 300 years ago.

Its enigmatic central character, Emilia Marty, will be performed by Angeles Blancas Gulin who makes her Company debut.

Annabel Arden’s production of Puccini’s La bohème returns with Caroline Chaney directing with a fresh approach. Conducted by Pietro Rizzo in his WNO debut, the double cast will feature Rodion Pogossov and Germán Enrique Alcántara as Marcello, alongside Luis Gomes and Jung Soo Yun as Rodolfo, Elin Pritchard and Anush Hovhannisyan as Mimì, Benson Wilson and Mark Nathan as Schaunard, and Aoife Miskelly and Haegee Lee as Musetta.

Following its critically acclaimed world premiere in Cardiff in June 2022, Migrations draws from people’s real-life experiences and landmark moments in history.

Writers and new librettists to opera, Shreya Sen-Handley, Edson Burton and Miles Chambers, Eric Ngalle Charles, and Sarah Woods, have joined Sir David Pountney, who also directs the production, to create the libretto of six powerful stories of migration.

Composer Will Todd’s extraordinary music intertwines the stories into an opera featuring music, dance and storytelling on an epic scale.

“Opera as an art form cannot stand still,” explains WNO’s General Director, Aidan Lang. “And part of WNO’s mission is to broaden the range of experiences that it offers its audiences.

“This is what underpins the programming of WNO’s Autumn Season. After its successful opening in the summer, I am looking forward to seeing Migrations on tour, and am sure our audiences will be as moved as they were at its world premiere in June.

“A new production of The Makropulos Affair was long overdue, and WNO is fortunate to have in Tomáš Hanus, our Music Director, a conductor who lives and breathes Janáček’s music.

“WNO believe that opera is an art form for everyone, and with Puccini’s enduring masterpiece, La bohème, completing the line-up, it is our hope that the Autumn Season delivers to that notion.”

Tickets for WNO (La bohème 23 – 24 November, The Makropulos Affair 25 November, Migrations 26 November) are on sale at or 02380 711811.

Photo: Migrations by Craig Fuller

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