The WNO Orchestra was formed in 1970. Since then, it has established itself as one of the finest orchestras in the UK, highly praised for its distinction in wide ranging operatic repertoire, as well as for its extremely varied concert work and portfolio of recordings. Resident at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, the Orchestra is one of two permanent, full-time ensembles at the heart of the Company, alongside the WNO Chorus. Former Music Directors of Welsh National Opera and its Orchestra include Carlo Rizzi, Lothar Koenigs and the late Sir Charles Mackerras. Tomáš Hanus joined the Company as Music Director in August 2016, making his debut conducting Mahler’s Second Symphony at St David’s Hall on 20 October 2016.
In addition to a substantial operatic remit for WNO, the Orchestra’s stature and reputation as a world-class ensemble in its own right is demonstrated by its distinguished involvement in the St David’s Hall International Concert Series in Cardiff each year. On the concert platform, the Orchestra is regularly active at many high profile concert and festival engagements, covering an extremely wide range of repertoire from large symphonic works through to lighter orchestral and popular music concerts, together with a regular portfolio of chamber music engagements. Standout WNO Orchestra relationships in 2015/2016 included performances at the Royal Opera House, the Henley and Fishguard Festivals, the Welsh Proms and at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. WNO has a firm commitment to concerts and residency programmes in Wales and England and the WNO Orchestra has become one of the most versatile orchestral ensembles in the UK.
Beyond the conventional performance arenas, the Orchestra, in line with the Company’s commitment to young artistic talent, operates an extensive side-by-side mentoring scheme through rehearsal and performance programmes with students. This activity has been taking place through partnerships with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, the Birmingham Conservatoire and a new relationship with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich.
David Adams, Lowri Porter, Martin Kegelmann*, Robert Tonkin*, Susan Plessner*, Peter Lilley*, Emma Menzies, Sarah Thornett, Maia Broido, Julia Loucks, Lydia Marshall
Ann Jones*, Donald McNaught*, Marilyn Shewring, Emma Waller, Steven Crichlow, Rebecca Totterdell, Tamaki Mott, Iain Gibbs
Philip Heyman†, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Olivera, Barry Friend, Stephen Lloyd*, Louise Rabaiotti*, David BaMaung
Rosie Biss†, Christopher Hodges*, Arthur Davies, Simon Davison*, Alexandra Robinson*
Tyler Shepherd†, Mikeal Price*, Mary Condliffe*
Jonathan Burgess†*, Sarah Bennington
Catriona Southall†, Lucinda Sprague$
Leslie Craven†*, Daniel Rye
Stephen Marsden†*, Christopher Vale*
Angus West†*, Donald Clist, Edward Griffiths, James Mildred
Dean Wright†, Martin McHale*
† Section Principal
‡ Guest Section Principal
$ Acting Section Principal
*Denotes 20 years or more service with WNO