Saturday 21st may 2016. Tonight is my second performance of this Opera at the Millenium centre in Cardiff. An amazing new production by the Welsh National Opera.
The evening began on the Glanfa stage with members of the WNO chorus (Paula Greenwood,Simon Crosby Buttle and Julian Boyce with piano accompaniment by David Doidge) performing World War One period pieces. One word to describe this 45 minutes of indulgence before the main show,SUPERB. Everything WNO put on is excellent and this performance was in that category.
To the main performance of the evening,as the music begins and first chorus of voices begin I’m drawn back to the days of war I can only read about. The sumptuous tones of each character soaring into the vast auditorium. As the opera moves on we find the men leaving our shores onboard to France, the mood changes as fear spreads through the company. The whole cast effortlessly travel through the act bringing a whole range of emotions to keep you thoughouly engrossed in this production.
At the start of the second act,we are treated to a fantastic version of Sospan fach, sung by most of the male leads and the male vocalists in the chorus,before the mood changes as the boys March towards Mametz wood. As men start dying around private ball the wood comes to life,regenerating around them as we come to a beautiful musical ending,with the Queen of the woods and the female members of the chorus treating the audience to a wonderful,tearful climax to an amazing Opera.
This has been a wonderful new Opera,which I have seen twice,and it just gets better every time. The WNO company has to be one of the best I have seen, everything they put on has been brilliant, long may it continue.