If, like me, not many things sound more idyllic to you than an opera performance in a National Trust garden on a summer evening, with a glass of bubbles in hand and some strawberries (Welsh weather provided of course), then I have the perfect teatime treat. Are you finding yourself feeling “curiouser and curiouser?”
The Welsh National Opera turned 75 in April and to celebrate, they will be resuming live outdoor performances with a colourful production of Lewis Carroll’s famous tale. Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, commissioned and originally produced by Opera Holland Park, is being performed at Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale Of Glamorgan between Fri 25 June and Sat 3 July, with performances starting at 6pm. As well as the opera itself there will also be a programme of activities for families. It’s probably advisable to pack a blanket and pacamac…
Todd’s score is to be performed by a small orchestra and is a mix of jazz, musical and opera styles, composed to perfectly suit the libretto. Promising a fun and engaging story that remains true to the original book, it will be performed in the promenade style to boot (bring a bag for those strawberries so they are easily transportable, then), and is set to be thoroughly engaging, as the action progresses with Alice making her journey through Wonderland – from dreary to vivid.
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To name a few of the talented cast: Fflur Wyn will reprise the role of Alice, Benjamin Bevan is cast as the White Rabbit, Feargal Mostyn-Williams as the Cheshire Cat, Aoife Miskelly as the Duchess and Bottle and Kelvin Thomas as the Caterpillar. The WNO’s own award-winning chorus will also be taking centre stage in leading roles. And, not to forget up and coming talent who will be making their stage debuts in the production: WNO Associate Artists Aaron O’Hare as the March Hare and White Knight and Adam Gilbert playing both Alice’s father and the Queen Of Hearts. WNO’s Weston Jerwood Directing Fellow Gareth Chambers joins the directing team (also formed of Aidan Long, Martin Duncan, Caroline Chaney and Sarah Crisp).
Tickets having gone on sale in early June, each date is now sold out – believe me, I’m still hoping to snap one up!
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Dyffryn Gardens, Vale Of Glamorgan, Fri 25 June-Sat 3 July. Tickets: £5-£15 (sold out – check box office for returns). Info: here
words LAUREN PHILLIMORE photos ALEX BRENNER