6 August 2013
Welsh National Opera has announced it is to visit the Middle East and Scandinavia as part of its 2013/14 season. For the first time the Company will perform in Oman and Finland visiting the prestigious Royal Opera House Muscat in December 2013 and the Savonlinna Opera Festival in July and August 2014.
WNO’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director David Pountney said it will showcase Wales on the world stage: “WNO is proud to represent an international platform in Wales, and vice-versa to represent Wales on the International stage. Our foreign tours are a wonderful way for the company to exploit its touring expertise, and yet another way in which the arts are one of the most significant generators of cultural and economic value for Britain”.
WNO has in the past performed in France, Italy and the United States and last toured abroad in 2007 at the Hong Kong Arts Festival with Göran Järvefelt‘s classic production of La boheme.
This autumn, as well as touring extensively in Wales and England, WNO will present its forthcoming new production of Maria Stuarda at the Royal Opera House in Oman. This will be the first time a UK opera company has performed there since its completion in 2011, it has already seen hosted Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Renée Fleming, the Mariinsky Ballet and London Philharmonic Orchestra. WNO Orchestra and Chorus will also be performing a family concert during the visit.
Following a busy summer season in 2014 which will see WNO perform in Cardiff, Birmingham and London, the Company will present its new productions of Nabucco and Manon Lescaut at Olavinlinna Castle in Finland. The prestigious Savonlinna festival has been held for more than 100 years and this is the first time that Puccini’s Manon Lescaut will have been performed at the castle.
Work is currently underway on the mammoth task of arranging to get the WNO Company out to Oman in December. Following the last performances of Roberto Devereux in Southampton on 29 November the scenery, props and costumes will be flown out to the Middle East. They will be joined by 145 members of the cast, crew and backstage staff who will run the two opera and one family concert performances.