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Award for Best Director for Music Theatre Wales at Wales Theatre Awards     

Award for Best Director for Music Theatre Wales at Wales Theatre Awards

Contemporary Opera Company Music Theatre Wales has been honoured with an award at this year’s Wales Theatre Awards with the company’s Joint Artistic Director Michael McCarthy winning the award for Best Director.

The award was presented for Michael McCarthy’s direction of Music Theatre Wales’ brand new opera production, The Trial. The Trial was written especially for the company by American composer Philip Glass and based on the novel by Franz Kafka with libretto by playwright and screen writer Christopher Hampton. The opera received its World Premiere at the Linbury Theatre at Royal Opera House before touring the UK last autumn.

Nominated by critics who have reviewed performances throughout the year, the Wales Theatre Awards recognise actors, singers, dancers, designers and writers for performances created and presented in Wales.

The award was presented at a ceremony at Sherman Cymru, Cardiff on Saturday evening (31 January) hosted by Nicola Heywood Thomas and Arfon Haines Davies.

The Trial was also nominated in the Best Opera Production category and Johnny Herford was also nominated for Best Male Performer in an Opera for his lead role in The Trial as Joseph K.

The production of The Trial was a co-commission and co-production with the Royal Opera House, Theater Magdeburg, Germany and Scottish Opera and with a cast of eight singers. The opera was directed by Michael McCarthy, with design by Simon Banham and lighting by Ace McCarron. The Music Theatre Wales Ensemble was conducted by Michael Rafferty.

Michael McCarthy said: “Bringing The Trial to life for the first time was an enormous privilege and quite a challenge. You don’t often get the opportunity to stage a brand new opera by Philip Glass! First and foremost I had an inspiring new opera to work with, so thank you Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton. Directing is only possible with a good team and I had a wonderful cast to work with who brought so much of their own to the performance, but I most want to share this honour with my designer Simon Banham. Together we created this production, and his work enabled me to think beyond my own horizons and be brave and bold. I am also absolutely thrilled to receive this award as a stage director and not just an opera director. That really is recognition of what Music Theatre Wales stands for!”

Plans are currently underway for The Trial to be performed in Theater Magdeburg in Germany in April of this year.

First published in 1925 Kafka's most well known work The Trial tells the nightmare tale of Josef K, a respectable bank employee who is suddenly arrested and forced to defend his innocence against a charge for a crime about which he knows, and is told, nothing, a prophetic vision of the excesses of modern bureaucracy.

Music Theatre Wales have previously received a TMA Theatre Award for their production of Greek, A Sky Arts Award and an Olivier Theatre Awards nomination for their production of Ghost Patrol.
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