Theatre in Wales

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Herculean Opera     

Pontardawe’s Richard Morris and acclaimed mezzo soprano Buddug Verona James, with performers from the Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Vale Consort perform Handel’s epic tale of sexual jealousy, disaster and destruction, Hercules, at Pontardawe Arts Centre on Friday 17th October.

Accompanied by Andrew Wilson-Dickson on harpsichord and John Cheer on organ.

Richard Morris (Baritone) comes from Pontardawe. He studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Guildhall in London and Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada. While at Banff he returned to sing The Celebrant in Bernstein's Mass as part of the London Symphony Orchestra's Bernstein Festival at the Barbican. Bernstein then asked him to repeat the role for the Opera Company of Boston, and he has since performed Mass at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.He has performed with Scottish Opera, Opera North, Music Theatre Wales, Opera Box, Opera de Nancy, Opera de Toulouse, Vancouver Opera, Canadian Music Theatre and BAM in New York. He performed the role of Enjolras in Les Miserables in the West End. He has recently finished a tour of the United States as Escamillo in Carmen for Columbia Artists and Marcello in La Boheme for London City Opera.

Buddug Verona James (Mezzo Soprano) was born in Cardigan. She studied at the Guildhall, National Opera Studio and Rome. She has performed over 50 operatic roles including; Gluck's Orfeo in America and Canada, Handel's Amadigi in New York and Europe, and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro in Tokyo and Toronto. She has performed with Netherlands Opera, Cleveland Opera, Glyndebourne, Almeida Opera, Opera Theatre Company, Opera Northern Ireland, Opera North, Opera Atelier, Opera Circus, Music Theatre Wales and Mid Wales Opera. Buddug’s one-woman show Castradiva has toured numerous festivals including Edinburgh. In 2004 Castradiva will visit America, and she will premiere in an oratorio with the Amazon Cello Orchestra composed by John Metcalf.

“As Dejanira, the Welsh mezzo-soprano, Buddug Verona James gave a performance of seething intensity, her vocal gymnastics setting Handel's arias aflame”.

The Herald

The Vale Consort was formed in 1996, originally with five members living in the Vale of Glamorgan. Now numbering ten, they specialise in the performance of music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In their spare time, the Vale Consort¹s members are employed as professionals in the health service and the worlds of social work, law, finance, education, librarianship and publishing.

Tickets for this enthralling musical drama are available from the Pontardawe Arts Centre Box Office on (01792) 863722 priced at £10.50 and £9.50.
Dave Madge  
web site

Monday, October 06, 2003back



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