In This Programme
Opera director Peter Sellars has much to say on Mozart's youthful unfinished opera Zaide . Penned at the tender age of 23, Sellars now updates this tale of love and slavery, Muslims and Christians, for a new production to premiere in Vienna this month. Talking to Tom Service , Sellars tells of the youthful passion he finds in the work, as well as why the themes of cultural harmony are relevant today.
For more information on Zaide click here
WNO 60th Anniversary
The brainchild of a former miner, Welsh National Opera has grown from its humble 1946 beginnings in a room above a car showroom to an opera company of international acclaim. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of its birth we hear from some original members of the company including 90 year old scenery painter Cyril Stevens who rediscovers his backdrop for the first ever WNO production hanging in a Cardiff pub. And opera critic Denby Richards recalls what it was like to be at that first Cav and Pag performance at the Prince of Wales theatre after he went all the way from London to hear it, on his bike.
Tchaikovsky's take on Pushkin's poem about the notorious 17th- C entury Ukrainian separatist, Mazeppa , gets overhauled by French directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser for their new production at Welsh National Opera. Mazepa is a figure who still resonates strongly for the Ukrainians, as he alone dared in the face of Tsar Peter the Great, to dream of an independent Ukraine . We catch up with Caurier and Leiser at the Wales Millenium Centre as they take a break from rehears ing this tale of love and political intrigue , and hear how they regard the musicians of Wales as some of the best in the world, but lament the low profile given to one of the country's "best assets".
Newest WNO recruit, general director John Fisher , talks to Tom Service about his plans for the future. Taking over the hot seat from Anthony Freud, John has inherited a much strengthened company with a new home - he tells Tom how he plans to preserve the unique spirit of WNO in the 21st C entury and what challenges he expects to face. He also reveals Music Director Carlo Rizzi's future - will he stay or will he go?