William Walton's The Bear
Mid Wales Opera's ‘Small-Stages’ delivers a whole new concept in opera, presenting its first ever micro-chamber performances with a brand new version of this twentieth century one-act comedy classic.
Composed in 1967 and based on Anton Chekhov’s play of the same name, The Bear tells the tale of the widow, Mme Popova, unendingly mourning the death of her husband until the arrival of the rough-hewn yet charismatic land agent, Smirnov (the “bear” of the title) demanding payment of debts. Passions run high and their sparring culminates in a duel during which the two appear to have fallen unexpectedly in love.
Full of entertainment, comedy, parody and great tunes, and lasting one hour, The Bear is directed and designed by MWO’s Artistic Director Richard Studer and performed by three singers and five musicians with no conductor, in a new chamber arrangement by MWO’s Music Director Jonathan Lyness.
After the interval, join the cast, musicians and directors of MWO for an informal reimagining of Pushkin’s great party scene from Eugene Onegin and its 'entertainments'. Tatyana's Party Pieces is a mix of music, poetry and prose, some familiar, some less so as a prelude to MWO’s performances of Tchaikovsky's great opera Eugene Onegin, touring in spring 2018.
A brilliant introduction for audiences new to opera and a fabulous opportunity for all music lovers to hear Walton’s classic comedy in its fiftieth anniversary year, this pilot ‘Small-Stages’ tour is designed to have the widest possible appeal and to fulfil MWO’s mission for keeping opera live and local across rural Wales.
Praise for MWO’s The Magic Flute, Spring 2017: “And by the look of their new Flute, Mid Wales Opera isn’t merely off life-support: it’s back in the game and punching straight into the same league as English Touring Opera… A thoroughly entertaining shot of Mozartian optimism”; The Spectator, 22 February 2017.
MWO Small Stages is supported by the Ashley Family Foundation, Foyle Foundation and Arts Council of Wales. Performed by arrangement with Oxford University Press.
Sung in English