Welsh National Opera Will Cut Two Weeks Of Programming Over Financial Challenges

Venues will be in touch with ticket holders to arrange exchanges or refunds.

By: Apr. 16, 2024
Welsh National Opera Will Cut Two Weeks Of Programming Over Financial Challenges
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Welsh National Opera has announced that it will be withdrawing two weeks from its previously announced 2024/2025 Season.

Due to increasing financial challenges, the Company has had to take the difficult decision to reduce its 2024/2025 Season.  The changes mean that the Company will no longer be touring to Bristol Hippodrome in February 2025, and will not be touring to Venue Cymru, Llandudno in May 2025.  This has no impact on our commitment to extending our reach throughout Wales, and WNO will still be visiting Venue Cymru in the Autumn as planned with its new production of Rigoletto alongside Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi and an Opera Favourites performance.

A performance of Rigoletto in Cardiff in February 2025 will also not go ahead as planned, but this has no impact on the Autumn performances of this new production.

The decision has been taken due to the challenging economic times facing all sectors, as well as substantial reductions in WNO’s public funding, which have meant the Company needs to introduce substantial budget efficiencies. 

WNO receives National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding from both the Arts Councils of England and Wales to provide large-scale opera, concerts and outreach work across Wales and to major cities and regions in England. As part of their recent funding announcements, WNO has received a 35% (£2.2m) reduction in its funding from ACE, and an 11.8% reduction in its funding from ACW for 2024/2025 against its application (£4.5m) for standstill funding. 

The Company has discussed the changes to the upcoming Season with both Arts Councils, as well as with the venues in Bristol and Llandudno.

WNO Interim General Director Christopher Barron said ‘We have had to make the regrettable decision to make changes to our 2024/2025 Season, which we know will come as a deep disappointment to our audiences in Bristol and Llandudno.  Our venue partners will of course be contacting all those who have already booked to arrange exchanges or refunds.  

‘Our new financial situation means that we have the challenge of balancing a reduced budget whilst maintaining artistic standards in providing a stimulating programme of performance and engagement activities. This means taking decisions that are difficult but, in the circumstances, unavoidable.  These have been carefully considered and have been discussed with both our venues and the Arts Councils.

‘While we are regrettably losing a week in Llandudno in May, we are pleased to still be visiting Venue Cymru in the Autumn with our new production of Rigoletto and with Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, as well as our new and popular Opera Favourites concert.  We also continue to work right across Wales with our concert programme and with our community and engagement work which will include a creative project in schools across Conwy in 2024/2025.

‘WNO represents Wales on a local, national and international level as well as creating and delivering projects that have a positive impact in communities. We are committed to continuing to deliver this work and ensuring our long-term future as Wales’s national opera company.’ 


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