Putting on an opera in a week was always going to be a challenge, putting on an opera in a week from scratch with a cast, chorus and musicians largely inexperienced in opera even more so….but then we’re never known to shy away from a challenge at MWO and we’ve been absolutely blown away by the success of our first OpenStages project. Our production of Dido and Aeneas in St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne began rehearsals on Bank Holiday Monday, April 22nd 2019, and was performed to two sold out audiences the following Saturday, April 27th.
In Tosca we have it all, from tender love story to powerful brutality and ultimate tragedy. For our new production, directed with a fresh perspective by Richard Studer, our brilliant principals were joined by over 100 community chorus members across Wales and were once again accompanied by Ensemble Cymru conducted by Jonathan Lyness. The result was a ‘stunning’, ‘spectacular’ and ‘dramatic’ production seen by over 2400 people.
Autumn 2018 saw MWO back on the road with the company’s second SmallStages tour, Ravel’s exhilarating one-act bedroom farce, A Spanish Hour (L’heure espagnole). First performed in Paris in 1911, L’heure espagnole is set in a clock shop in Toledo, central Spain. It follows the fortunes of Torquemada, the hardworking clockmaker, as, during the course of one hot afternoon, his young wife Concepción negotiates her way through her collection of ridiculous lovers. Ravel’s music is bursting with hummable melodies, lively habanera dances and other Spanish folk song elements to get audiences buzzing.