THE WELSH National Opera have announced their Spring 2015 Season entitled Spellbound which explores the relationship between music and magic and which consists of three productions – revivals of Hansel & Gretel, The Magic Flute and Chorus!.
To open WNO’s Spring 2015 Season is a new production of Chorus!. The original concept, a celebration of the chorus, was devised by WNO and directed by David Pountney in 2004 who returns agaub to direct this version featuring opera classics such as the Humming Chorus from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Va Pensiero from Verdi’s Nabucco alongside the Epigraph from Prokofiev’s War and Peace and Alabama Song from Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Soprano Lesley Garrett CBE will be performing in this production alongside the WNO Chorus which will be conducted by WNO Chorus Master Alexander Martin.
The season’s revivals of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel will be both conducted by WNO Music Director Lothar Koenigs aim to “transport the audience into a world of magic, make-believe and delight, but are also ultimately about the power of rationalism over magic”.
WNO’s The Magic Flute will be a Magritte-inspired production featuring an angry lobster, a newspaper-reading lion and a fish that is transformed into a bicycle and the company’s revival of Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel is a “dark re-telling of the well-known fairytale”.
by Caroline Simpson
The Spring season will open with the WNO Orchestra in concert at St David’s Hall in Cardiff on Friday 16 January. Conducted by WNO Music Director Lothar Koenigs, the concert programme will draw on the Spellbound theme with four classics including Dvŏrák’s The Noon Day Witch and Bartók’s Suite from Miraculous Mandarin. The pianist Olga Scheps will play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4.
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Picture credit for front page image: Hansel and Gretel, Cora Burggraaf (Hansel) Rebecca Evans (Gretel).
Photograph: Brian Tarr