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By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour with content via Welsh National Opera
Welsh National Opera at Birmingham Hippodrome Spring 2022
Welsh National Opera (WNO) has been visiting Birmingham and playing to audiences at on Birmingham Hippodrome’s stage for as long as I can remember, which is a pretty long time and certainly about thirty years. Opera in general always seemed a little bit posh, and for me, I connected it to Shakespeare and ballet’s classier end of theatre.
My experience of reviewing productions still has that perception, but I also know it as a very welcoming space for anyone interested in discovering more. The advent of social media and youtube allow those with even a minor interest to enter this world before they’ve ever stepped foot in the theatre.
After the forced break of the pandemic, the Welsh National Opera is back at Birmingham Hippodrome from 20th to 23rd April for its second week of productions in the 2021/22 season. Two of which people may recognise and one they may not.
Discover more about Welsh National Opera here: wno.org.uk
Jenufa (20th April only)
Jenůfa is directed by Eloise Lally returning Katie Mitchell’s production of composer Leoš Janáček‘s work to the stage.
Welsh National Opera says the production was last performed by themselves in 2008 and is the story of a woman with a secret that will bring shame to herself and her family.
WNO Music Director Tomáš Hanus said:
Janáček is a composer that is very close to my heart and my history, equally he was a composer that still has a lot to say that can speak to audiences today. Jenůfa is one of the best opera’s ever written and I want to make sure it is done to the highest level.
I am looking forward to presenting this piece to the audiences in Cardiff and also on tour so as many people as possible can experience this wonderful music.”
Book tickets at: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/wno-jenufa-two
Don Giovanni (21st and 22nd April)
Mozart’s Don Giovanni is about a promiscuous young nobleman who is about to encounter something he cannot outwit or dodge.
About this production WNO says:
Don Giovanni follows the demise of opera’s legendary seducer as his roguish womanising catches up with him and he meets his end through a force from beyond the grave. One of the most popular and much-performed operas, this has everything from murder to lust to comedy, drama and the supernatural.
Don Giovanni will be directed by Caroline Chaney, and Tobias Ringborg will make his conducting debut with the Company.
Tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/wno-don-giovanni-two
Madam Butterfly (23rd April only)
Perhaps the most well known opera of these three, Puccini’s Madam Butterfly is given a 21st-century look in this production which premiered in Autumn 2021 directed by Lindy Hume and conducted by James Southall.
About this production WNO says:
This critically acclaimed production explores socially relevant themes of Puccini’s classic tale with its beautiful music providing the backdrop to this much-loved opera.
Told through a 21-century lens where love is a commodity, this production of the opera is not only true to Puccini’s moving score but provides perspective on the relevance this story still has in society today.
Book tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/wno-madam-butterfly-two-2