Monthly Archives: June 2017

Die Fledermaus (3rd performance).

Saturday 24th June 2017, and after a torrid week recovering from the effects of sunstroke, it’s nice to be back at the Millenium Centre here in Cardiff Bay, for my third and final performance of ‘Die Fledermaus’, before it leaves Cardiff to begin its tour.  The two operas on show this season have been immense. Having seen Die Fledermaus three times and Der Rosenkavalier twice. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Louise Alder for her performances as Sophie (Rosenkavalier) and at Cardiff Singer of the World final, where she won the Audience award.  Her singing voice is just stunning, and thouroughly deserves the credit she has. I would love to see her sing again with the WNO in future productions.

A special occasion tonight as we are in the presence of royalty, as Prince Charles is in attendance for the evenings proceedings. 

Tonight, for the third time, I also get to listen to even more stunning vocal performances, with Die Fledermaus, especially the wonderful Mary Elizabeth Williams as Rosalinda and Rhian Lois as Adele. The standard has been incredible throughout this seasons productions, and a massive thank you to everyone involved with the WNO, for making these shows so watchable again and again.

Tonight promises more excellence once again. As well as the magnificent singing on show, I have yet to mention how good the set and lighting has been, again Cardiff Theatrical Services have Surpassed themselves. As the main set builders they always deliver staging to impress. 

Another special mention to the Orchestra an chorus (conducted by Tomas Hanus), who again were just brilliant. So much talent from both disciplines. So enjoyed every performance. The end of another season at the Centre, looking forward to sept/oct for more opera, can’t wait.

Der Rosenkavalier (2nd performance).

Saturday 17th June 2017, and a scorching hot day in Cardiff Bay, where later this evening, I will be at the Millenium Centre, for my second performance of the WNO’s production of Richard Strauss opera ‘Der Rosenkavalier’. Having arrived really early, I’ve taken the opportunity to walk around the Bay a few times today. For me this area is stunning, I love it, with the heat this weekend the Bay is packed. With Army regiments on show for the Queens birthday celebrations and the Celebration of the life of Jo Cox, everyone in the Bay today are just living life to the full. The atmosphere here is incredible, wonderful what a bit of sun on a special occasion can muster up.

Tonight’s opera promises to be something special as well, to go with today’s celebrations.  As this is my second time watching this fabulous opera, I’m still so looking forward to see it.  With the magnificent Rebecca Evans at the helm, this is going to be a class occasion. Once again the singing is phenomenal, so effortless, keeping the standard going for the best part of 4 hours. The ending was again so beautifully done, as usual I cried again, in fact the whole performance was so beautiful. 

The WNO orchestra, who, as they always do, provide excellent musical accompaniment to the evening’s proceedings, bringing so much enjoyment to the assembled audience, with every performance. With a huge applause at the end the whole cast and orchestra richly deserved this fabulous accolade.

A truly fabulous season of opera, with one more to go next weekend, so looking forward to ending on yet another high.

Die Fledermaus (2nd performance).

Sunday 11th June 2017, my weekend of Opera continues this afternoon, with another performance of ‘Die Fledermaus’ at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay, as part of the Welsh National Opera’s summer season. After the brilliant Der Rosenkavalier yesterday, this opera is more on the comic side, with wonderful performances from all the cast, as well as the brilliance of the WNO Orchestra.

I have to mention the magnificent Mary Elizabeth Williams (again) as Rosalinda. It’s a tremendous pleasure to listen to her sing, her voice is just exceptional, and usually brings a tear or two during her performances. With superb back up from Rhian Lois, Emma Carrington, Ben McAteer, Paul Charles Clarke, Mark Stone and Alan Opie, really using their vocal talents to bring this Opera to life. And of course who could forget the brilliant Steve Spiers, who added so much to act 3.

I have to say I really love this comic opera, it’s so well produced, going from strength to strength on every performance. Very upbeat And positively hilarious, a great tonic for a Sunday afternoon. I’m hoping to see it again before it’s run ends in Cardiff. Really can’t wait if I’m honest. 

This weekend has been so amazing, to listen to the quality of voices at the Centre for both operas. It just shows how good the WNO company are, as everything I’ve seen over the past 4 years has just been fantastic.

Der Rosenkavalier.

Saturday 10th June 2017, finally a show to watch tonight after a week off, as Cardiff hosted the Champions League Final. So tonight I’m at the Millenium Centre in the Bay, to watch the Welsh National Opera’s production of ‘Der Rosenkavalier’. The music was written by Richard Strauss, with the text from Hugo Von Hofmansnsthal. 

Tonight we have the welcome return of Rebecca Evans as the Marschallin along with Lucia Cervoni as Octavian. Such wonderful voices from both, filtering into this incredible auditorium, mixing the lyrics and music to perfection.  For me the first act was so beautifully done, it totally relaxed me, (after a hectic week at work), moving through so quickly, I didn’t even realise that 75 minutes of fabulous opera passed in no time at all.

Act two brings another fabulous voice in Louise Alder as Sophie, along with Lucia, it’s once again so beautiful to listen to them sing together during the act.  With the farcical scenes of act 3 brilliantly done as well it leaves us with another beautiful ending with Rebecca, Lucia and Louise singing their hearts out. 

A fantastic opera from start to finish. I also have to mention Brindley Sherratt as Baron Ochs who was exceptional along with the WNO orchestra who, as usual were just superb. A brilliantly powerful opera which I can’t wait to see again next week.