Lucky dozen star in WNO opera and TV show


Twelve lucky pupils from a Welsh-medium primary school in Cardiff are starring alongside Bryn Terfel in Wales National Opera’s production of Falstaff, which will be broadcast on S4C, along with a behind-the-scenes documentary on the production.

The pupils from Year 5 and 6 of Ysgol Melin Gruffydd, Whitchurch are currently taking part in Peter Stein’s production of Verdi’s classic, which started its season at the Wales Millennium Centre on Monday, 3 March.

S4C’s cameras were there to record performances of Falstaff for broadcast later in the month on Good Friday, 21 March at 7.45pm. The Channel will also broadcast a behind-the-scenes documentary Falstaff: Tu ôl i’r Llenni on Thursday 20 March at 9.00pm looking at different aspects of the production.

The programmes are being made for S4C by production company Opus TF, also based in Cardiff.

Two of the Ysgol Melin Gruffydd pupils featuring prominently in the production are Isaac Marks and Matthew Delf, who will take it in turn to play Falstaff’s page. The other ten - Caitlin Jones, Joseff Reed, Arial Desscan, Mollie Bevan Davies, Elin Brokenshaw, Gwern Ifans, Hawys Waddington, Cai Hayes, Gwenno Jones and Elis Jones -play fairies in the opera.

Deputy Head of Ysgol Melin Gruffydd, Sandra Semmens said: “Everyone at Melin Gruffydd is extremely proud of the pupils and we’re all looking forward immensely to the performances and the television programmes that will follow. Since being chosen, life has been hectic for the children but they realise it’s a huge privilege and it’s an experience they’ll never forget. The opportunity to perform with Bryn Terfel has got the whole school buzzing. “

Executive producer from Opus TF, Gareth Williams added: “The documentary will be a fascinating insight on how a world-class opera company prepares for a major production. The creative relationship between Wales’ greatest opera icon Bryn Terfel and one of the world’s greatest stage directors, Peter Stein is electric. But in this charged atmosphere, the children of Melin Gruffydd look so comfortable and professional and are stars in their own right.”

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