Kommilitonen! | Welsh National Opera

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SummaryBack to top

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - Saturday, July 30, 2016

Music by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Libretto by David Pountney
Performed by WNO Youth Opera

Kommilitonen!, an opera for young people about young people, is the latest production by the acclaimed WNO Youth Opera following the RPS award winning Paul Bunyan in 2013. Each WNO Youth Opera production gives the brightest emerging performers, musicians and technicians an opportunity to take centre stage benefitting from the support and expertise of this world-class opera company.

Kommilitonen! intertwines three stories of student revolution in the 20th century - the Chinese Cultural Revolution; the Civil Rights Movement in the USA; and the White Rose movement in Nazi Germany. The three stories come together at the end of the opera, locating the action between the present and the past, and evoking the tyranny of the three political systems that the opera explores. 

For an opera about revolution, it’s important that we don’t just sit passively in our seats but feel part of the action. Polly Graham’s promenade production seizes on this idea by putting the audience in the heart of these stories and combines innovative visual projections with a spectacular set transforming Barry Memo into the frontline of 20th century turmoil.


Please note that Kommilitonen! is a promenade performance taking place on the floor of Barry Memo and audience members will be required to move around the space. There will be a limited amount of seating in certain parts of the hall but this seating cannot be reserved.

Running time: one hour 50 minutes including one interval of 20 minutes
Sung in English with short passages in German (please note that there are no surtitles)
Age Guidance: Due to the subject matter we advise that Kommilitonen! is suitable for ages 12 and above.

Tickets £12 available here 
Group Ticket £40 (admits 4)
A limited number of £5 tickets for under 30s are available through the Barry Memo Box Office only – call 01446 738622

Performance dates & times:
Wednesday 27 - Saturday 30 July 7pm
Saturday 30 July 2.30pm

Free parking is available at Memo Arts Centre. 

By arrangement with Chester Music Limited. The Opera was jointly commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music of London, United Kingdom and The Julliard School of New York, USA.

Supported by

and David Speller, WNO Partners, The Seligman Gift, The Schafer Bursary, The Marianne Evans Legacy, Unity Theatre Trust and Angus Allnatt Charitable Trust. Make-up provided by MAC Cosmetics.


Cast & CreativeBack to top

Performed by WNO Youth Opera

Director Polly Graham
Conductor Alice Farnham
Designer Gabriella Slade
Movement Director Jo Fong
Lighting Designer Katy Morison
Projection Designer Will Duke

Assistant Directors and Programme Contributors Emrys Barnes, Matthew Holmquist and Kate Willetts
Assistant/Stage Conductor Michael Cobb
Assistant Conductor/Chinese Language Coach Tianyi Lu
Asistant Chorus Master/German Language Coach Rosie Howarth
Assistant Repetiteur Conal Bembridge-Sayers

Technical Placements
Matthew Clayton, Laura Walker, Lewis Stuart Smith, Claire Wisener, Amy Jenkins, Rowan Clark, Hadley Taylor, Joe Jones, Nathaniel Quinn, Rachel Roberts, Sophia Pickard, Mollie Williams, Jade Nimmo, Hannah Bridges, Lisa Jones, Alycia Hirani, Alex Hiscocks, Rosie Foster.



The Oxford Revolution
Voice of Pokayne
Andrew McGowan*/ William Rennie**
James Meredith Oscar Castellino

Die Weisse Rose
Sophie Scholl
Tara McSwiney*/ Chiara Vinci**
Willi Graf Jack Bowtell*/ Aaron Holmes**
Hans Scholl Dragos Ionel
Christoph Probst, Evangelist in Sophie's dream Andrew Henley*/ Andrew Irwin**
Alexander Schmorell, Grand Inquisitor in Sophie's dream Dafydd Gape
First Clerk Ffion Edwards, Grace Farrell, Rebecca Marine, Lindsay Grace
Second Clerk Laurence Kilsby, Carwyn Harris
Gestapo Officer Joshua Liam Jones*/ Jordan Towells**
Janitor Edmund Caird*/ Dafydd Allen**
Prison Guard Catherine Schofield*/ Katharine Blackwell**

Soar to Heaven
Li Jingji (Mother)
Aimee Daniel*/ Christine Byrne**
Wu Tianshi (Father) Pablo Gonzalez*/ David John Phillips*
Wu (Daughter) Flora Macdonald*/ Harin Oh**
Li (Daughter) Jacquelyne Hill*/ Grace Wyatt**
Zhou (Red Guard) Beatrice Acland*/ Suzi Saperia**
Doctor Emma Hansen*/ Heloise Werner**
Red Army Officer 1 Joanna Goldpink*/ Ffion Edwards**
Red Army Officer 2 Amy Kearsley*/ Katie Phillips**
Red Army Officer 3 Cristina Negoescu*/ Emma Nelson**

*performing 27 and 29 July 7pm, and 30 July 2.30pm
** performing 28 July and 30 July 7pm

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Directions to Memo Arts CentreBack to top

Memo Arts Centre Gladstone Road, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 8NA

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The Memo is accessible by both local bus and train services. A 10 minute walk from both Barry and Barry Docks stations, the last train to Cardiff Central leaves Barry Docks at 11.15pm, however please check train times before travelling.

From the M4 heading south west, exit at Junction 33 and take the first exit onto the A4234 heading to Cardiff West / Barry / Airport / Penarth. Take the A48/A4050 exit towards Cardiff (W) / Cardiff Airport / Barry Airport. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto Port Rd/A4050. Follow A4050 to Buttrills Road in Barry. Turn right onto Buttrills Road. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto Gladstone Road/A4055.