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Welsh National Opera - Summer Faith Season

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Faith and horror themes for the new season
Operas of Biblical proportions feature in the new exciting summer season by the Welsh National Opera (WNO).

Nabucco is part of the Welsh National Opera summer season. Photo credit AT Schaefer

With faith as the theme, the WNO season includes rarely seen opera Moses und Aron as well as Verdi's uplifting Nabucco, which explore the power, meaning and consequences of religious belief.

The tour also includes Fall of the House of Usher, a double bill of operas based on the ghostly Edgar Alan Poe horror tale.

Starting off the tour at the WNO headquarters in Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, the season moves on to Birmingham Hippodrome, The Royal Opera House in London and then Olavinlinna Castle in Savonlinna, Finland.

Moses und Aron

WNO's new highly-charged production of Schoenberg's Moses und Aron will be the first UK performance of this rarely-staged opera since 1976.

It features renowned bass Sir John Tomlinson in the role of Moses and will be conducted by WNO's highly-acclaimed Music Director Lothar Koenigs.

This is a challenging piece of opera with a unique sound as we follow the story of Moses

The simple and effective WNO banner for Moses und Aron

WNO Chief Executive and Artistic Director David Pountney, who is behind the faith theme, said, "Moses und Aron stands as one of the mightiest musical statements of the 20th century - Schoenberg wrestling with the existence of God along with his own musical and religious identity.

It was not an easy task for him, and it remains a challenging one for us to follow his complex musical language, but the rewards of perseverance are immense: quite simply, access to one of the greatest musical minds of the 20th century.

Those who follow the journey to Moses's anguished final utterance: "Oh word, oh word that I lack" have followed one of the most powerful emotional, intellectual and philosophical journeys that enrich our European culture."


Verdi's Nabucco, in comparison, has a rousing score and heavily features a chorus, and the most famous song from the piece is the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves.

It is an opera from the start of Verdi's illustrious career, which helped catapult him into fame and the hearts of the Italian people.

Scenes from the Nabucco performance in Stuttgart. Photo credit AT Schaeffer

Nabucco follows the Hebrews as they are sent into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king. The religious symbolism of this opera has led to The Israeli Opera performing Nabucco at Masada in the past.

This latest WNO production has been co-produced with Stuttgart Opera and is sung in Italian with English surtitles, and Welsh in Cardiff. It directed by Rudolf Frey.

Fall of the House of Usher

This double-bill show includes a world stage premiere of Gordon Getty's Usher House alongside Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher.

With a horror element, this production is based on Edgar Allan Poe's macabre tale and promises "to chill and unnerve audiences".

The creative team includes Video Designer David Haneke, who is incorporating projections from filming at National Trust property Penrhyn Castle near Bangor, North Wales, to intensify the mysterious and macabre atmosphere and take audiences on a journey inside the House of Usher.

Benjamin Bevan takes on the role of Roderick Usher, while Jason Bridges sings the role of Edgar Allan Poe, and Madeline Usher will be sung by Anna Gorbachyova.

Welsh National Opera Summer Season

Moses und Aron

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff - May 24 - June 7
Birmingham Hippodrome - Jun 18
Royal Opera House, London - July 25 - 26


Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff - May 31 - June 14
Birmingham Hippodrome June 19 - June 21
Olavinlinna Castle, Savonlinna, Finland - July 29 - August 2

Fall of the House of Usher

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff - June 13 - 15
Birmingham Hippodrome - June 20

Tickets cost from £5 - £100 and are available from The Welsh National Opera Website, the Birmingham Hippodrome website, or the Royal Opera House London website.

More information on WNO's Summer Season is available
here and here.
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Why? See opera that challenges and provokes
When: From May 24
Phone: 029 2063 5000
Where: UK Tour - Cardiff, Birmingham and London
Cost: From £5
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