Preview: WNO Death in Venice, Così fan tutte, and Opera Favourites, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Preview: WNO Death in Venice, Così fan tutte, and Opera Favourites, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Welsh National Opera’s (WNO) Spring Season comes at Mayflower Theatre from Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 March 2024, with two new productions, Death in Venice and Così fan tutte

Death in Venice

WNO will stage a new production of Britten’s Death in Venice , which will be the first time the Company has staged this opera.

Olivia Fuchs returns to WNO to direct Death in Venice, with Circus Design and Direction from No Fit State and Firenza Guidi. Based on the novella of the same name by Thomas Mann, the story follows writer Gustav von Aschenbach as he journeys to Venice to rid himself of his writer’s block.

While there, he becomes infatuated with the youthful and beautiful Tadzio. No Fit State will bring a mixture of acrobatics that will incorporate silks, straps and slack ropes and other circus elements, which interweave throughout the opera, exploring an edgy quirkiness and adding to the lyricism of the piece.

“How exciting to be directing Death in Venice and to be working with the same creative team – Nicola Turner, Robbie Butler and Sam Sharples – as on The Makropulos Affair!” says director of Death in Venice, Olivia Fuchs.

“I am delighted to be returning to WNO. And what a treat to collaborate with No Fit State Circus, conductor Leo Hussain and artists Mark Le Brocq and Roderick Williams, two such intelligent and consummate performers. They will be joined by young aerial artist Antony César playing Tadzio and a strong ensemble of circus artists and singers, giving the wonderful WNO chorus an opportunity to shine. I can’t wait to start rehearsals.”

Così fan tutte

Next up is a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte under the baton of WNO Music Director Tomáš 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.

The production design takes its visual inspiration from the seventies 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 also returns as Despina who in this production is depicted as a canteen/dinner lady. Making their role debuts in this new production 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 José Fardilhaas Don Alfonso.

“Mozart and da Ponte’s School for Lovers is a transformative, but dangerous place,” continues Così fan tutte director, Max Hoehn

“It would not get past a school inspection, nor would it be judged appropriate for one of Netflix’s light teenage drama series. The opera is a unique and surprising coming-of-age story and I look forward to bringing it to life with WNO’s Music Director Tomáš Hanus and an exciting cast of role debuts and veteran Mozartians.”

Opera Favourites

In addition to the operas on tour, the Company will perform an Opera Favourites concert, offering audiences the chance to hear and enjoy some of the best-known pieces in the operatic world.

The concert will bring together WNO Orchestra, WNO Chorus, WNO Associate Artists as well as former WNO Associate ArtistAdam Gilbert and guest artist James Cleverton. Frederick Brown and Edmund Whitehead will conduct the concert that will feature well know arias, choral and orchestral numbers including music by Mozart, Verdi, Britten and Puccini amongst others.

Tickets for the Spring Season of Welsh National Opera (Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 March 2024) are on sale at or 02380 711811.

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