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Welsh National Opera Summer Season - Birmingham Hippodrome

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Child Tickets To Peter Pan Opera For Only £1
The Welsh National Opera's (WNO) is about to embark on its summer season at its second home in Birmingham Hippodrome and this year's theme will be a "Terrible Innocence".

Wno, Peter Pan, welsh national opera summer season, Birmingham hippodrome
Peter Pan opera flies into Birmingham Hippodrome


Peter Pan, The Magic Flute and Pelleas and Melisande are the three operas on offer from June 10 to 13, which all explore the ways in which apparent innocence can mask destructive and dangerous forces.

Children aged under-16 even have the chance to see Peter Pan for just £1 when accompanied by a paying adult in a deal that is set to introduce a younger audience to the musical genre. Pre-performance talks for children about Peter Pan that are led by a storyteller will also take place before the shows start.

WNO artistic director David Pountney says: "Our summer season features two of the most dangerously beguiling characters in literature – Peter Pan and Mélisande.

Mélisande maintains the air of a helpless victim, but manages to wreak havoc nonetheless. Similarly strangers who fly into your bedroom window at night may take you on an enchanting journey, but will you be able to find the way back?

Our summer season, like the heady nights of summer itself, pulsates with the seductive power of apparent innocence – submit, be seduced, enjoy - but beware!"

Richard Ayres' Peter Pan

Peter Pan may be well-known as a pantomime but this new opera version brings much of the excitement and vibrancy of JM Barrie's original story along with a wonderful musical score. It aims to attract children as young as eight to opera.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan flies into Birmingham with the Welsh National Opera


Produced with the Komische Opera Berlin, this production composed by Richard Ayres includes a libretto by Lavinia Greenlaw that aims to appeal to both children and adults.

Marie Arnet takes on the role of Wendy following her critically-acclaimed performance in Lulu with the WNOin 2013, while counter-tenor Lestyn Morris taking the role of eternally youthful Peter.

Debussy's Pelléas and Mélisande

This is an exciting new production from the creative team behind the distinctive WNO production of Berg's Lulu in 2013. For those of you who saw Lulu when it toured to Birmingham, you will notice some resemblances, especially with the set.

Welsh National Opera Summer
Artistic designs of costumes in the eagerly anticipated Pelleas and Melisande


WNO artistic director David Pountney has set this opera within a developed version of the Lulu design from where he aims to enhance Debussy's atmospheric and fantastical music. Pountney said the presence of water and its play with light will create "the mysterious atmosphere that is such a hall-mark of Debussy's score".

WNO Music Director Lothar Koenigs is excited when explaining what audiences can expect from this production. He says: "There are five operas I need to conduct in my life. One of these is Pelléas and Mélisande. This score is a landmark in operatic history.

"Somehow it says farewell to the past and at the same time it welcomes the music of the 20th century. Debussy composed a "silent" music, a music of delicate colours, completely unobtrusive. This music expresses the unspeakable."

Jacques Imbrailo and Jurgita Adamonyté sing the roles of Pelléas and Mélisande, and the roles of Golaud and Genevieve will be sung by Christopher Purves and Leah-Marian Jones.

Mozart's The Magic Flute

Mozart's much-loved opera The Magic Flute returns to Birmingham after a recent visit and is set to be a popular choice.

Magic flute, Mozart, welsh national opera, WNO, Birmingham hippodrome
Magical scenes in Mozart's much loved opera The Magic Flute


This is a fun, witty magical story of a princess, an evil high priestess and love at first sight that is packed with vibrant music and colour.

The production is conducted by Simon Phillippo and features Kathryn Lewek as Queen of the Night – a role that has won her acclaim around the world. While Benjamin Hulett sings the role of Tamino.

WNO Summer Season 2015 At Birmingham Hippodrome

The Magic Flute
Wednesday 10 and Friday 12 June 7.15pm

Peter Pan
Thursday 11 June 7.15pm

Pelléas and Mélisande
Saturday 13 June 7.15pm


Tickets cost from £16 to £49. There are also child tickets for a Peter Pan available for £1 with a full-paying adult. For further information, visit the Welsh National Opera website or Birmingham Hippodrome website.
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Why? See vibrant opera with a 'Terrible Innocence' theme
When: June 10 - 13, 2015
Phone: 0844 338 5000
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome
Cost: From £1 for children. From £16 adults
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