7 February 2018
On Friday 2 February we unveiled our new production of La forza del destino to an anticipating audience at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Not only were we showing our wonderful opera, it was also the opening night for our Spring Season and in addition we welcomed a very special guest.
This special guest was none other than our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales who on arrival met Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Mrs Morfudd Meredith, and hosts including our Honorary President Mathew Prichard, Chairman Mark Molyneux, Artistic Director David Pountney, Managing Director Leonora Thomson and Music Director Tomáš Hanus. His Royal Highness was also greeted on arrival by 72 young singers aged 10 to 18 from our Youth Opera singing ‘Sisi Ni Moja’ (We Are One) by Jacob Narverud accompanied by our percussionist Jonathan Helm.
His Royal Highness was also met by His Excellency the Italian Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta who is Patron of our Verdi Trilogy and Mr Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Transport, Welsh Government. Following the performance, David Pountney introduced His Royal Highness to the performers and Company members on stage. The Prince of Wales has been our Patron since 1997, and in 2016 celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Company with a special Gala performance at Buckingham Palace.
La forza del destino was directed by David Pountney and conducted by Conductor Laureate Carlo Rizzi. The cast featured Gwyn Hughes Jones in the role of Don Alvaro and Mary Elizabeth Williams in the role of Donna Leonora. The performance was supported by The Kobler Trust, our Verdi Syndicate and Verdi Patrons.
David Pountney said ‘We were very proud to welcome our patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, to this important premiere of La Forza del Destino, to launch our Verdi trilogy. HRH is an enthusiastic supporter of our work and we greatly value his encouragement and enthusiasm.’
Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta said ‘It is a true honour for me to serve as Patron of the Verdi Trilogy and I am most grateful to Welsh National Opera for their important contribution in furthering the reach of Italian opera across the whole of the UK.’