Preview: Welsh National Opera, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Preview: Welsh National Opera, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Welsh National Opera’s (WNO) Spring Season comes to Mayflower Theatre from Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 May and includes the brand new opera, Blaze of Glory!, and a new production of The Magic Flute.

WNO will perform its new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute under the baton of Teresa Riveiro Böhm. Teresa is the 2022/23 WNO Associate Conductor in collaboration with LSO Donatella Flick Conducting Competition.

Director Daisy Evans returns to WNO following recent successes with Don Pasquale and Cherry Town, Moscow. This new production puts an immersive spin on an operatic favourite, set in a world of fantasy and adventure with sets and costumes designed by Loren Elstein.

The double cast will feature Welsh tenor, Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, and South African tenor, Thando Mjandana, sharing the role of Tamino, and sopranos Jenny Stafford and April Koyejo-Audiger, who will both make their WNO debuts as Pamina.

The iconic coloratura role, The Queen of the Night, will be shared by Samantha Hay and Julia Sitkovetsky, and Papageno the bird-catcher by baritones Quirijn De Lang and Neal Davies.

Blaze of Glory! delighted audiences and received four and five-star reviews at its world premiere in Cardiff in February.

Set in the 1950s, the opera follows a group of Welsh miners as they embark on a musical journey to reform their male voice choir after a local mining disaster.

Following their successful collaboration for 2019’s Rhondda Rips it Up!, director Caroline Clegg and librettist Emma Jenkins return to WNO for Blaze of Glory!, and are joined by composer David Hackbridge Johnson, conductor Stephen Higgins, and designer Madeleine Boyd.

The opera sees the miners and a group of strong-willed women, led by their heroic chorus master, Mr Dafydd Pugh, embark on a series of adventures that lead them to the Eisteddfodau and beyond.

Blaze of Glory! combines traditional Welsh harmonies with the a cappella sounds of the 1950s, plus operetta, gospel and big band added into the mix.

The cast and WNO Chorus will also be joined by the Solent Male Voice Choir, who will sing prior to the performance.

Forming the Welsh contingency are soprano Rebecca Evans as Mrs Nerys Price and tenor Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts in the role of the chorus master, Mr Dafydd Pugh.

The cast also includes former WNO Associate Artist Adam Gilbert as Emlyn, Feargal Mostyn Williams as Bryn Bevan, and Themba Mvula as Anthony.

Tickets for WNO (The Magic Flute 16 – 18 May, Blaze of Glory! 20 May) are on sale at or 02380 711811.

Photo credit: Craig Fuller

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