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Welsh National Opera Presents Brand New Commission MIGRATIONS

This brand new work has been designed as a unique operatic experience and an epic drama on a large scale.

Welsh National Opera Presents Brand New Commission MIGRATIONS

The ground-breaking new opera by Welsh National Opera, Migrations will receive its world premiere in Summer 2022 with further performances in Autumn 22.

This brand new work has been designed as a unique operatic experience and an epic drama on a large scale. WNO has commissioned Migrations with the aim of engaging communities and new and existing audiences through the telling of powerful stories relevant today to Wales and across the world.

Opening at Wales Millennium Centre for 3 performances on June 29, the Opera will return in October and November for a further Cardiff date and performances in Llandudno, Plymouth, Birmingham and Southampton.

To create a diversity of voices, writers - Shreya Sen Handley, Edson Burton and Miles Chambers, Eric Ngalle Charles, Sarah Woods and Sir David Pountney, (who also directs Migrations), have worked with British composer Will Todd to create the libretto of six stories of migration with some of the narratives drawn from people's real-life experiences. Will Todd has created an Opera that combines a mix of musical styles to tell each story, from classical music to epic cinema and musical theatre styles and collaborating with sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun on the music for story This is the Life!

The cast of over 100 performers includes Tom Randle, Meeta Raval, David Shipley and upcoming British talent Peter Brathwaite amongst other artists, along with the Bristol based Renewal Choir Community Chorus, a Bollywood Ensemble and a children's chorus including members of WNO's Youth Opera, joining the forces of Welsh National Opera's Orchestra and Chorus. Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts.

This ambitious opera is part of a five-year partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council working with groups in the community through composition, music and performance projects.

Migrations is an ambitious opera for WNO and highlights the Company's commitment to commissioning and developing new work as well as the Company's enthusiasm to cross collaborate with arts organisations from other genres, engaging people to experience opera through powerful story telling.

Migrations is supported by John Ellerman Foundation, John S Cohen Foundation, WNO New Commissions Syndicate. The production is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Bunker.

A short introduction to Migrations by Will Todd is available to view:

Migrations - Behind the Scenes with Will Todd

Further information is available at:

Performance dates and venues details are available at:

The Stories:

Mayflower by Sir David Pountney

A mass chorus tells the true story of the group of Pilgrim settlers who sailed to America on the Mayflower exactly 400 years ago seeking freedom from religious persecution in Britain.

Treaty 6 by Sarah Woods

The story reveals the "first nation" Cree people's reaction to the experience of inward migration, displacement and colonization as the community fights to save their land from environmental devastation.

Flight, Death or Fog by Edson Burton and Miles Chambers

The story of Pero, an Afro-Caribbean slave owned by a wealthy merchant family in 18th century Nevis and Bristol. The story explores the unique experience of domestic slavery through the life of Pero Jones and his powerful reflections on his life and status.

Birds by Eric Ngalle Charles

This piece explores migration as a natural phenomenon and a way of life. For birds movement between feeding grounds thousands of miles apart occurs naturally, involving a stupendous feat of endurance and navigational skill.

The English Lesson by Sarah Woods

In this second story by Sarah Woods, a group of refugees attending an English lesson to help them learn basic phrases for their new life, reveal how their lives have been ripped apart by war, oppression and the dangers of migration itself.

This is the life! by Shreya Sen-Handley

A humorous look at the experience of Indian Doctors in the NHS in 1968 Britain when the country seems divided, bursting with the energy that migrations bring, yet seething with discontent. Young Indian doctors are invited by the British government to help expand the National Health Service. But the newcomers find themselves reviled and rejected, despite the assurances given of the "good life" awaiting them. Can bridges be built with samosas and beans?

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