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New works for Welsh National Opera following £1.2m gift

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The Welsh National Opera will perform a new collection of operas in the UK after receiving $2 million (more than £1.2 million) private funding.

The five-year series of contemporary performances, called British Firsts, will begin next summer.

Members of the Getty family, who have provided the money, gave donations to the opera company after WNO chief executive and artistic director David Pountney approached composer Gordon Getty about staging his work.

Getty’s 60-minute opera Usher House, which will be directed by Pountney, will feature as part of the series in summer 2014.

Appearing alongside this will be Robert Orledge’s completed version of Claude Debussy’s unfinished one-act opera The Fall of the House of Usher.

Other works will include Wagner Dream by Jonathan Harvey, which begins the series, a new version of Peter Pan by Cornish composer Richard Ayres in 2015 and Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland in 2017.

Pountney said: “At a time when the arts face continuing cuts to public funding, this kind of private philanthropy is a vital form of income without which this series would not be possible.

“This series, whose titles – from Wagner Dream to Alice in Wonderland reveal a love of fantasy and fairy tale, will show us that we can enjoy modern music and modern opera as part of our normal cultural life, just as we enjoy modern cinema, television, books or fashion.”

 

 

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