Mid Wales Opera Canolbarth Cymru roi i MWO - thebiggive.org.uk
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Mae'n ddrwg iawn gennym ond nid iw hwn ar gael yn y Gymraeg.

OPERA TAKES OVER MONTGOMERY SCHOOL

Mid Wales Opera’s creative team have been sent back to school this week – swapping their usual cast and orchestra for an entire junior school in Montgomery.

Artistic Director Richard Studer, Music Director Jonathan Lyness and freelance singer/vocal coach Maria Jagusz have spent a week in Montgomery Church in Wales School – working with more than 40 children to design, write, costume and perform their very own opera from scratch.

Head teacher Judith Baker has been delighted with the results and she told us: “The children have been buzzing with this all week, they have been working across ages and in groups to share ideas and I have not seen one session where the children were not fully engaged.”

“Every child has been able to contribute and share their gifts. We are in the business of educating the whole person, and giving them access to working with these high quality professionals with such incredible experience in their field was something we could not afford to miss.”

The children’s production is based around the cartoons which inspired Janacek’s Opera “The Cunning Little Vixen” but in their version, their fox cub hero, Joey, travels through the Arctic and into space, meeting lovelorn killer whales, space cows and moon monkeys on his travels.

Teacher Nicky Steer has seen her classroom transformed into a stage, costume workshop and Director’s studio. She said: ”This has been an amazing opportunity for the children to work with a Music Director, Artistic Director and singer and they have been enthusiastic at every stage of the creative process.”

The week-long residency is funded through the Arts Council of Wales Creative Collaborations fund, and designed specifically to suit Montgomery school, addressing key areas of the curriculum including extended writing and creativity and encouraging team work across age groups with children aged 7-11 taking part.

General Manager Lydia Bassett told us: “Not many junior school children get the chance to make their own opera in a week – but that’s exactly what these children have done this week, and they have done a brilliant job.”

 “We have been working with schools across Montgomeryshire for many years, but this is a whole new way of working for us and for the pupils. They have been able to develop a story, write songs and dialogue and create sets and costume from scratch in just a week with our staff working alongside them for the whole school day.”



Mae'n ddrwg iawn gennym ond nid iw hwn ar gael yn y Gymraeg.

A thoroughly entertaining shot of Mozartian optimism: Mid Wales Opera's Magic Flute reviewed by Richard Bratby: The Spectator

The Magic Flute
Mid Wales Opera, touring until 4 May

The backdrop is a hexagonal matrix, glowing in neon blue. Mist billows from the wings, and as a figure in a pink gas mask huddles in the foreground, a Victorian funeral party marches slowly across the stage. ‘Where am I?’ asks Tamino in the first scene of The Magic Flute and in Richard Studer’s new production for Mid Wales Opera, the answer seems to be the faintly eerie world of 1970s British sci-fi – an episode of Sapphire and Steel perhaps, or Tom Baker-era Doctor Who. Well, why not? Mozart and Schikaneder – whose libretto invokes Egyptian gods while specifying that Tamino should wear ‘Japanese hunting costume’ – clearly weren’t too fussed. I’ve seenThe Magic Flute staged as a world war one drama, a manga cartoon and a homage to Magritte. It works every time.

No, what’s most surprising here is that this production exists at all. In 2015 Mid Wales Opera – which had been touring small venues in both Wales and England since 1988 – ran into funding difficulties and went ominously quiet. That, it seemed, was that. MWO’s recent appointment of Studer and the conductor Jonathan Lyness as a new artistic leadership was the company’s first real vital sign in some time. These two have form, including a particularly raw and passionate Jenufa at Longborough last summer. And by the look of their new Flute, which opened on Friday night in Newtown, Mid Wales Opera isn’t merely off life-support: it’s back in the game and punching straight into the same league as English Touring Opera, a company whose only artistic compromises relate to the size of its venues.

The casting’s the key. These are youngish singers, but they all have credible CVs, and three performances would stand out in any production: Sion Goronwy’s imposing and sonorous Sarastro, Galina Averina’s vulnerable, eloquently-sung Pamina and – as the Queen of the Night – Samantha Hay, who’s sung this role for ETO and Welsh National Opera, and whose interpretation only seems to grow in haughty brilliance. William Wallace (Tamino) and Frederick Long (Papageno) had an enjoyably blokish comic rapport. Crucially, since there are no surtitles, they all enunciate the English text clearly and naturally. There’s no chorus either, but Lyness conducts his ten-piece orchestra with zest and intense expression – and for good measure, plays Papageno’s glockenspiel too, as Mozart himself did in 1791.

As for that production: thanks to some deft lighting, it doesn’t look bad, and Studer’s designs clearly delineate who’s on whose side (Monostatos in black feathers as a kind of anti-Papageno was a neat touch). The theatre was full, the laughter frequent and at the transcendent moment when Pamina steps forward to share Tamino’s ordeals and Mozart’s score brims over with dignity and compassion, I felt that essential, unmistakable pricking behind the eyes. If you’re within striking distance of Bangor, Aberystwyth, Pontardawe or Newport, go and see it. You won’t just receive a thoroughly entertaining shot of Mozartian optimism – you’ll be doing something positive for the future of British opera.



LLWYFANNAU BACH syniad newydd ar gyfer opera siambr deithiol

Mae rhaglen Llwyfannau Bach wedi ei chynllunio ar gyfer y cymunedau nad yw prif berfformiadau OCC yn eu cyrraedd, er mwyn ennyn diddordeb a datblygu cynulleidfaoedd i opera a chadw’r repertoire anarferol yn fyw ac iach ym mhob cwr o Gymru.

Ar gyfer ein taith gychwynnol, paratowyd fersiwn siambr o gomedi glasurol William Walton, The Bear ym mis Tachwedd 2017 gyda thri pherfformiad mewn neuaddau gwledig yn agos at gartref OCC, sef Theatr Hafren yn y Drenewydd, cyn symud ymlaen ar y daith ar gyfer 12 perfformiad arall.

Perfformir The Bear, a gyfarwyddir ac a gynllunir gan Gyfarwyddwr Artistig OCC Richard Studer, gan dri o gantorion a phum cerddor heb arweinydd o unrhyw fath, mewn cynhyrchiad perfformio newydd gan Gyfarwyddwr Cerddoriaeth OCC Jonathan Lyness, gyda chaniatâd gan Wasg Prifysgol Rhydychen ac Ymddiriedolaeth William Walton.

Ysgrifennwyd The Bear yn 1967 ac mae’r opera, sy’n cyfuno adloniant, comedi, parodi a chaneuon cofiadwy, yn dathlu hanner can mlwyddiant y flwyddyn nesaf.

Mae’r opera’n seiliedig ar ddrama Anton Chekhov o’r un enw ac yn dweud hanes gwraig weddw, Mme Popova, sy’n galaru am ei gŵr hyd nes y daw’r asiant tir bras ond carismataidd, Smirnov (yr “arth” yn y teitl) I fynnu tâl am ddyledion. Mae emosiynau’n gryf ac mae’r ymrafael yn arwain at ornest lle mae’n ymddangos bod y ddau wedi syrthio mewn cariad yn annisgwyl.

Mae The Bear yn para un awr ac yn cael ei chanu yn Saesneg. Bydd pob perfformiad yn gorffen gyda chyflwyniad anffurfiol o ddetholiadau operatig a berfformir gan gerddorion a chantorion, wedi eu teilwra’n arbennig ar gyfer bob lleoliad, gyda lluniaeth ysgafn a’r cyfle i gael trafodaeth a sgwrs anffurfiol gyda’r perfformwyr.

Caiff taith LLWYFANNAU BACH 2017 OCC o The Bear ei chefnogi’n hael gan The Foyle Foundation a The Ashley Family Foundation.

Meddai Jonathan Lyness: “Mae The Bear yn gyflwyniad gwych i gynulleidfaoedd sy’n gweld opera am y tro cyntaf ac yn gyfle ardderchog i bobl sy’n caru cerddoriaeth glywed comedi glasurol anhygoel Walton, ym mlwyddyn ei hanner can mlwyddiant. Mae’r perfformiadau siambr wedi eu cynllunio i apelio i gynulleidfaoedd mor eang â phosibl.”

Ysgrifenna Richard Studer: "Yr hyn sy’n gyffrous am y prosiect hwn yw gweithio gyda lleoliadau cymunedol i gyflwyno opera broffesiynol yn yr ardaloedd nad oes cynrychiolaeth gref iddynt gan y model teithio traddodiadol am bris rhesymol (o dan £10 fel arfer). Mae’n rhoi’r cyfle hefyd i berfformwyr a chynulleidfaoedd ymwneud yn uniongyrchol â’i gilydd mewn lleoliadau anffurfiol. Mae’n gyfle i ddathlu rhywfaint o repertoire doniol gwych yr ugeinfed ganrif, yr anghofir amdano’n rhy aml."



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Yn ystod 2017/18, cefnogir Opera Canolbarth Cymru gan Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, Cyngor Sir Powys, Elusen Gwendoline a Margaret Davies, Control Techniques Cyf, Cronfa Cadeirydd John Lewis, Sefydliad Millichope, Ymddiriedolaeth Oakdale, Ymddiriedolaeth Elusennol D'Oyly Carte, Ymddiriedolaeth Idlewild, Sefydliad Foyle, Sefydliad Teulu Ashley, Sefydliad Garfield Weston, Ymddiriedolaeth Celfyddydau Fenton a Chyfeillion Opera Canolbarth Cymru.

Rydym hefyd yn ddiolchgar iawn i'n ein Noddwyr a Chymwynaswyr am eu cefnogaeth: Mrs Sioned Bowen,  Dr & Mrs JS Drury, Mr David John & Lady Hunt, Dr Hywel Parry-Smith, Professor Simon Smail CBE, Peter Stokes & Margaret Clennett, Mr Gareth Williams, ac ein roddwyr dienw.

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