Welsh National Opera puts human rights at the top of the agenda with programme of talks and events

Welsh National Opera has announced new information on its Freedom Season, in Cardiff this June, a curated season rooted in exploring themes of human rights, justice and political imprisonment.

An extensive series of talks, discussions and debates has been detailed, taking pace across the city alongside an immersive digital reality art exhibition, community engagement work and operatic performances of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Menotti’s The Consul, Dallapiccola’s The Prisoner, Beethoven’s Fidelio (Act II), and Krása’s Brundibár .

Curated by Artistic Director David Pountney, the season will showcase every element of the performing company from the WNO Chorus and Orchestra through to WNO Community Chorus and WNO’s award-winning Youth Opera. In addition, young singers including Youth Opera alumni and students at the David Seligman Opera School at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in association with Welsh National Opera will take roles in several of the productions, demonstrating WNO’s ongoing commitment to developing young talent. The creative process will see young artists sharing the rehearsal room and concert stage alongside colleagues of international standing.


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Did you know that our FREEDOM Season will feature Beethoven’s only opera? Act II from Fidelio is paired with Dallapiccola’s The Prisoner in a unique double-bill that brings together the BBC National Orchestra of Wales alongside WNO Chorus and WNO Community Chorus at Wales Millennium Centre on Friday 14 June. – Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod ein Tymor RHYDDID yn cynnwys unig opera Beethoven? Caiff Act II o Fidelio ei pharu a The Prisoner gan Dallapiccola mewn perfformiad dwbwl unigryw sy’n dod â Cherddorfa Genedlaethol Gymreig y BBC, Corws WNO a Chorws Cymunedol WNO ynghyd yng Nghanolfan Mileniwm Cymru ar Gwener 14 Mehefin. – – #beethoven #legend #ludwigvanbeethoven #died #onthisday #arydiwrnodhwn #1827 #music #classicalmusic #classical #opera #operaiscool #orchestra #violin #instrument #cello #sheetmusic #WNOorchestra #violin #concertperformance #semistaged #liveperformance #WNOfreedom #WNOrhyddid #WNOorchestra

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Welsh National Opera is collaborating with several partners to present these events, putting conversation around culture and contemporary society at the top of the agenda in the Welsh capital. Partners for the season include Amnesty International UK, the Welsh Refugee Council, National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs among others.

Speakers at the talks announced include many high profile figures that have roles at the forefront in the improvement of human rights today. Amongst many issues being raised and discussed in the programme, Bela Arora, University of South Wales Professor of Global Governance and Vice Chair of the British American Project, will focus on the phenomenon of modern slavery in the UK and across the globe, Hayle Davies, Education Officer for Teachers and Schools at Amnesty International UK will Chair Brave, a talk that will give young human rights defenders a platform, and Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, will Chair a talk about protecting children’s rights, The Voice of A Child, as part of Welsh Refugee Arts Week.

Mona Siddiqui, Professor at Edinburgh University and first person to hold a chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies, Claire Fox, British libertarian writer and the Director and Founder of The Institute of Ideas, poet and playwright Eric Ngalle Charles, who himself fell victim to human trafficking and Dr Veronique Barbelet, Senior Research Fellow, Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institutes will also chair discussions during the Freedom season.

Tickets for the talks and debates are £5 each and can be booked in advance at wmc.org.uk with full details available at www.wno.org.uk/freedom.