BBC News

Welsh National Opera drama at Wrexham make-up counter

image captionWelsh National Opera performer Anne Williams-King shows her anguish at the cosmetics counter in Debenhams as shoppers watch

It is not every day that you can watch a soap opera unfold in your local shopping centre.

But just such a musical drama greeted people in Wrexham as Welsh National Opera (WNO) performed in the town.

Wrexham-born Anne Williams-King offered shoppers "Parfum de Wrexham Racecourse" at one department store's cosmetic counter before bursting into song.

It was the second of a monthly Nine Stories High event filmed as part of a three-year residency in the town.

The WNO educational programme, Wrexham Street Songs, began in September.

"To have world-class performers using Eagles Meadow as part of their stage is just wonderful," said the shopping centre manager Kevin Critchley.

"I'm sure it's given shoppers something to talk about and made them realise that opera need not be stuffy.

"I can't wait to see how the story turns out and what happens to poor old Terry."

image captionStacey Blythe sings her heart out for the audience at Debenhams

The opera is the brainchild of WNO producer Claire Cressey, and was the second episode of nine which are being staged once a month across different town centre locations.

"It's live soap opera. We hold creative writing workshops at different locations where we talk to local people and develop story lines," she said.

A horse in the pub was suggested by schoolchildren who had seen news reports about someone taking a horse into a pub in Wrexham and on a train, she said.

"Neighbouring Chester has a soap called Hollyoaks but Wrexham now has Nine Stories High - ours is a bit like the Daz advert," she said.

Each episode is filmed and then screened on the internet using Facebook, so that the public can interact with the characters.