Monthly Archives: September 2018

La Traviata.

Sunday 30th September 2018, and a nice treat on a Sunday, an extra day in Cardiff Bay at the magnificent Millennium Centre to watch another amazing Opera put on by the WNO. Today is my first performance of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’, another of my favourite pieces, that I’ve had the pleasure of watching a few times previously.Today’s cast has Armenian born Anush Hovhannisyan playing the role of Violeta, with Australian – Chinese tenor Kang Wang in the role of Alfredo and Roland Wood playing Alfredo’s Father, along with a few WNO regulars playing vital roles along the course of the opera.

La Traviata has to be one of The most beautiful operas you will ever have the privilege to see, even with its tragic ending it’s still such a pleasure to watch. Once again the WNO company has exceeded expectations with a superb production, the singing was once again exceptional, the music, beautiful and played to perfection from the WNO Orchestra, today under the baton of James Southall.

Add in the fabulous set and amazing costumes, the whole experience came alive, another tremendous day at the theatre, two days in a row the WNO operas have been just brilliant, and with one more week to go in Cardiff, there should be more to come.

War and Peace (3rd performance).

Saturday 29th September 2018, and another chance to watch this epic Opera, with the WNO version of ‘War and Peace’ from the pen of ‘Prokofiev’, at the magnificent Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay on a glorious Autumn day.Today will be my third visit to this production, and I must say it’s been brilliant to come and watch such a beautiful opera, performed by a fabulous company. As usual the WNO have excelled in all departments for this Opera. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the singing has been phenomenal from all the cast, and today’s final performance,before going out on tour was no different. Just superb and totally worth three visits.

The costumes on show for this Opera are amazing, a credit to the wardrobe department of the WNO, always excelling in everything they attempt. A final word to the wonderful Orchestra of the WNO, who as usual were just superb, again watched it three times and on all occasions just thoroughly mastered the whole show. Another fabulous days entertainment, can’t wait for another helping of opera very soon.

War and Peace (2nd performance).

Saturday 22nd September 2018, another weekend visit to Cardiff Bay and my 2nd performance of ‘War and Peace’ at the Millennium Centre. So looking forward to watching this epic opera once more, I was really impressed with last weeks opening night, so much going on with superb singing from all the cast, and probably the biggest cast I’ve ever seen on this stage.

The plot set around the book by Tolstoy and music by Prokofiev, hits the mark from the start, a massive opening, played wonderfully by the excellent ‘Welsh National Opera Orchestra’, Mixing the dramatic with the tender and sometimes beautiful melodies Prokofiev conjured in his mind, while writing this incredible musical piece.

The set is pretty expansive and uses a huge screen at its rear, to project relevant scenes of the proceedings to the audience, adding to the drama of the whole occasion. Also a wide array of costumes are on show throughout the performance, depicting everyday life in these turbulent times.

As usual the singing from the WNO company tonight was superb, add the magnificent musical prowess of the Orchestra and you have a show that lives up to the standard that one gets used to, week in week out with this company.

More opera to come in the next few weeks and hopefully another opportunity to watch this once again before it tours.

War and Peace (WNO).

Saturday 15th September 2018, Opera season begins with ‘War and Peace’ from Prokofiev, at the magnificent Millennium Centre here in Cardiff Bay. Another to add to my collection of new productions in the theatre world. I’m quite looking forward to watching this, while all the while wondering how you would take an epic story to an Operatic stage performance and make it work.The cast for this opening performance has the beautiful voice of Lauren Michelle in the lead role of Natasha, with Mark LeBrocq as Pierre and Jonathan McGovern as Andrei to name but a few. As usual the singing from all the cast is excellent and really reverberates around this incredible theatre. A huge cast for this production with a massive Chorus really adding extra impetus for the bigger crowded scenes on stage, just fantastic to listen to.

I was a little shocked at how good the music to this opera actually was, having not expecting it to be, but honestly I was very impressed, it had everything from heavy full orchestra music to stunning beautiful melodies all in one movement, played brilliantly by the Welsh National Opera Orchestra conducted by Tomas Hanus.

An opera I will happily see again, and most probably will in the next few weeks, during its run in its home theatre in Cardiff, before moving on tour.


Saturday 1st September 2018, another weekend rolls into place, with an opportunity to watch one of the best musicals ever created, at one of the best theatres in Britain today. So I’m at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff for a performance of ‘Evita’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. I absolutely love this musical, having seen it previously at the New Theatre here in Cardiff, on many occasions.

Today’s cast has the absolutely amazing Lucy O’Byrne as Eva Peron, with Glenn Carter as Che, while Mike Sterling plays Juan Peron, who were also just superb in each role. Loads of great voices pack the Ensemble, including Oscar Balmaseda as Magaldi and Peron’s mistress played by Christina Hoey, who I’m so looking to see as she gets to sing one of the best songs in the show ‘Another suitcase in another hall’.

So many excellent songs through the performance, ‘ Oh what a circus, On this night of a thousand Stars, Eva beware of the city and Buenos Aires’ all follow on from each other and set the tone for the rest of the first act. The highlight of act two of course is ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ along with ‘High flying adored’, ‘Rainbow High’ and ‘The money keeps rolling in’, to name but a few. Although I have to say that all the songs are just superb, and sung brilliantly by the cast.

Getting onto the singing, I thought the standard was out of this world, I’ve mentioned Lucy already, but I need to reiterate just what an amazing voice she has along with Mike and Glenn, they added so much to this production. Whoever the producers cast on any given tour, give their all and it shows in the quality of these productions.

The dance routines were really good to watch as they took place throughout the show. I should also commend the Orchestra in the pit for their stunning portrayal of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s excellent music.

This musical is up there in my all time favourite top ten. It’s just superb and beautifully put together. It remains iconic in every way and will continue to watch on every tour possible, for as long as is humanly possible.