WNO celebrates Britten’s centenary year with schools project

21 November 2013

Welsh National Opera (WNO), in collaboration with Wales Millennium Centre (WMC), will celebrate the 100th birthday of composer Benjamin Britten on Friday 22 November 2013 by participating in the nationwide singing project Friday Afternoons, created by Aldeburgh Music.

The event, which will take place on the Glanfa Stage in the Wales Millennium Centre foyer from 2pm, will showcase students from three Cardiff  Bay primary schools (Mount Stuart Primary, Grangetown Primary and St Mary Primary), who have been taught by WNO animateurs, as well as members of WNO 10 – 14 Youth Opera. The singers will perform songs from Britten’s Friday Afternoons; a cycle of 12 songs composed by Britten for the Prestatyn school where his brother was headmaster.

Director of Youth and Community at WNO, Rhian Hutchings is looking forward to the event: “This has been a fabulous opportunity to introduce one of the UK’s most famous composers to young people in Cardiff. The three schools are in fine voice and I can’t wait to hear them singing loud and proud on the Glanfa stage in celebration of Benjamin Britten’s birthday.”

The project, created by Aldeburgh Music, aims to get as many children and young people as possible across the country singing Britten’s songs on the same day, to highlight the legacy of his work for young people and encourage more singing amongst them.  

Born on 22 November 1913, having composed operas such as Peter Grimes (1945), Paul Bunyan (1941) and Billy Budd (1951), Britten was a central figure in twentieth century British classical music.  

Parents and members of the public are invited along to support the students and join the celebrations.  The free performance will also be live streamed by WMC.

Notes to Editors 

  • Welsh National Opera is the national opera company for Wales. WNO is funded by the Arts Councils of Wales and England to provide large scale opera across Wales and to major cities in the English regions.
  • For more information, photos or interviews please contact Lowri Pugh-Morgan, Press Officer on 029 2063 5037 or