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WNO announces ‘British Firsts’ series

9:45, 12th February 2013

Welsh National Opera has announced a new series of contemporary operas over the next five years, all of which will be performed in the UK for the first time. The British Firsts series, which has been made possible by a gift of US$2 million from the Getty family, will include a staging of Gordon Getty’s Usher House directed by WNO’s general director David Pountney.

This decision to stage Getty’s opera has been questioned by critics, who suggest that WNO’s main motivation could be financial rather than artistic. On the contrary, says Pountney, ‘the whole thing started the other way round, when conductor Larry Foster rang me up and said “come and hear this work, it’s a really special work”.’

The series will also include the UK staged premiere of Wagner Dream by Jonathan Harvey and Robert Orledge’s completed version of Debussy’s unfinished one-act opera The Fall of the House of Usher, which will be presented in an Edgar Allan Poe double bill with Getty’s Usher House.

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