13th-18th April 2020

St Andrew's Church, Presteigne
Join Mid Wales Opera

for an inspirational week of music-making and rehearsals

culminating in two fully staged public performances of John Blow’s masterpiece Venus & Adonis at St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne as well as an informal concert at Presteigne’s famous Judge’s Lodging.
13th-18th April 2020

This project is open to all: amateur, student and professional musicians working alongside each other over six days both on the opera itself and in smaller chamber groups in preparation for our Hausmusik concert on the Thursday.

Applications are invited for chorus, principals, string and recorder players.

Mid Wales Opera

Building a passion for opera across Wales and beyond

MWO is a professional touring opera company, staging two main productions across Wales each year as well as engagement projects throughout the communities of Wales and the Borders.

Our Easter OpenStages production of Venus & Adonis will be led by MWO’s Music Director Jonathan Lyness and Artistic Director Richard Studer and Vocal Coach and Assistant MD Charlotte Forrest in a new staging in the historic church of St Andrew’s, Presteigne.

Blow’s Venus & Adonis is in every sense the precursor to his pupil Purcell’s masterwork Dido and Aeneas. Composed in 1683 and scored for strings and recorders it has a cast of cupids, shepherds, huntsmen and courtiers.

Music and production rehearsals will be held in the church itself throughout the week with plenty of time set aside to allow participants to explore the spectacular countryside and local hostelries. A daily communal meal will be provided, freshly prepared each day by our catering team to create a truly special festival atmosphere. In addition, there will be limitless cake and refreshment throughout the week.

Who can apply

MWO’s OpenStages project is open to all, from enthusiastic amateurs to professional musicians. The ethos is for us all to learn from each other.


Presteigne is a beautiful and historic small market town set in the heart of the Welsh Borders and the rolling Radnorshire hills, with many holiday cottages, B&Bs and, for the brave, local campsites. Participants will need to book their own accommodation for this event.


Morning, afternoon and evening rehearsals will take place in the church each day, with time set aside to allow individuals and smaller groups to prepare for an informal concert during the week at the Judge’s Lodging.

Participant Fee

This includes all music and production rehearsals as well as our daily communal meal and refreshments. Music will be supplied free of charge in advance to all participants. The standard Participant Fees do not include accommodation.

Chorus £150 / Instrumentalist £125

Young artist £50 (inc accommodation see below)

Young Artists / Students

MWO is committed to offering opportunities for students and young artists. We are offering a limited number of places on the project at a subsidised cost of £50 to include accommodation.


To register fill in our Online Application Form. Participant numbers are limited. MWO hopes to be able to offer places to everyone who applies but may have to limit numbers to create a balanced chorus and orchestra.

For further information please e-mail Bridget Wallbank admin@midwalesopera.co.uk