Wales in London 2017
OPRA Cymru's programme for Promising Artists was given a wonderful showcase opportunity at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, London on Wednesday 25th October. At an event organised by Wales in London, under the management of Gaenor Howells, opera in Welsh was given its first London outing. Artistic Director Patrick Young said of the occasion:
"What a wonderful setting for OPRA Cymru to share its vision and its upcoming projects with the Welsh of the metropolis! The four Promising Artists are currently involved in our production of the exciting new opera Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd by Anglesey composer Gareth Glyn, so it was an added bonus to be in the company that evening of the new opera's librettist, Mererid Hopwood, who eloquently spoke to us about the new work and the novel on which it is based (by Islwyn Ffowc Elis - Wales' foremost 20th century novelist). This was indeed a happy co-mingling of the novelist's, the librettist's, the composer's and the company's vision for the future of the Welsh language."
The event was organised by Gaenor Howells, with support from Rhian Medi of Wales in London. Amongst the luminaries present it was a pleasure to see staunch supporters of Wales in London, such as Bleddyn Phillips, and also OPRA Cymru's constituency Member of Parliament, Liz Saville Roberts.
In addition to a 'sneak preview' of the new opera Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd, OPRA Cymru's current Promising Artists - Eleri Gwilym, Ilar Rees-Davies, Gethin Lewis, Seimon Menai, - performed a number of classic arias and ensembles from the operatic canon, uniquely revisited and re-minted in Welsh.
Young Pembrokeshire répétiteur and conductor Iwan Teifion Davies is leading musical preparation of the new opera and will be conducting all the performances on tour: in the historic surroundings of the library at Pall Mall's Reform Club, Iwan provided the performers with sensitive and musicianly support from the piano, and even chipped in as Don Alfonso in the farewell quintet from Mozart’s ‘Così’! His is a talent to be watched out for in the future, and OPRA Cymru is delighted to have him at the helm for the upcoming tour.