Welsh National Opera’s third and final visit to Swansea of 2018 was very much a masculine affair.
In fact, it was a case of “only men allowed” for the evening, with the ladies of the WNO’s chorus otherwise engaged with the touring production of Welsh suffragette cabaret opera Rhondda Rips it Up! (which, incidentally, is fantastic, and also stops off in Swansea this autumn).
Our WNO’s visits to Swansea University’s new concert hall have been something of a revelation this year, combining the orchestra’s musical excellence with a more informal, relaxed atmosphere. Each piece of music is accompanied by anecdotes and a backstory, and the conductors – in this case, Andrew Greenwood – get the chance to throw in a few wisecracks in along the way.
For the summer concert, the male contingent were joined by tenor Robyn Lyn Evans and baritone Gareth Brynmor John for a programme which combined teasers for their upcoming seasons with some of the greatest hits from the repertoire.
Highlights included the two Welsh soloists teaming up for a memorable take on Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers duet, and the orchestra showing their punchier side with Wagner’s Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin.
The WNO’s next concert at the Great Hall will be January 4, 2019.