Renewal Choir is thrilled to be a part of the ground-breaking new opera by the Welsh National Opera, Migrations, which will be premiered in Summer 2022. The opera will open in Cardiff on June 29 and return for performances for the autumn season in Cardiff, Llandudno, Plymouth, Birmingham and Southampton. The audience will be treated to a rare immersive musical experience to stir the senses, stimulate the mind and touch the spirit with some of the narratives drawn from people’s real-life Migration experiences.
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Renewal choir were approached back in 2020 to take part in this epic production which was delayed because of Covid. But now after the long-anticipated opening, we are so excited to be involved in this ground-breaking drama on such a large scale. This brand new work has been designed as a unique operatic experience which has taken us, as a gospel choir, out of our comfort zone to be immersed in the world of opera which has been cleverly interwoven with diverse cultural and musical influences – making it a delightfully enriching learning experience for everyone taking part.
To bring a rich gospel music sprinkling to the production, Renewal has enlisted the support of a number of our gospel singing friends to make a lively, full and expressive gospel lilt from a configuration of singers we call “Renewal Choir Community Chorus”
WNO has commissioned Migrations with the aim of engaging communities of new and existing audiences through the telling of powerful stories of migration relevant today to Wales, the West Country and across the world. The libretto was created by British composer Will Todd, who has composed the music for all the stories expressing a mix of different musical styles, combining classical music with musical theatre styles, epic cinema and Indian classical music.
We are pleased to be among the cast of over 100 performers including Tom Randle, Meeta Raval, David Shipley amongst other artists, along with the Bollywood Ensemble and a children’s chorus including members of WNO’s Youth Opera, joining the forces of Welsh National Opera’s Orchestra and Chorus. Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts.
This ambitious opera highlight the Company’s commitment to commissioning and developing new work as well as the Company’s enthusiasm to cross-collaborate with arts organisations from other genres, engaging people to experience opera through powerful storytelling. We feel very privileged to be invited to take part through our connection with Edson Burton and Miles Chambers writers from Bristol who have contributed the moving story of Pero Jone, a slave and real historic figure who lived in Bristol.
Migrations is supported by John Ellerman Foundation, John S Cohen Foundation, WNO New Commissions Syndicate. It is also derived from a five-year partnership with the Refugee Council for Wales. The production is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Bunker.