It is the year 2014, and opera companies still don't get Twitter.
Welsh National Opera attempted to tweet their new season this morning. But you can't dice a season into 140-character chunks. And what WNO have on offer next year needs a bit of context to sell it even to regular operagoers, let alone the general public. Their website is (at the time of writing) not much more helpful, but at least you can find a list of operas.
Intermezzo to the rescue - if you want the full details, including casts and dates, read below.
As you will see, there are five new productions. Four are directed by WNO's own David Pountney - presumably a cost-saving measure rather than a bout of late-career megalomania. The one that isn't is the British premiere of Richard Ayres' Peter Pan, which debuted last year in Stuttgart. This also makes its way to the ROH next summer for a couple of dates.
Barry Banks heads the excellent casts assembled for the mini Rossini-fest of Guillaume Tell and Mosè in Egitto. Please don't ask me what Chorus! starring Lesley Garrett might be - I fear to think. Pelléas et Mélisande (with Jacques Imbrailo and Jurgita Adomonyte) is the final new production.
Dominic Cooke's family-friendly The Magic Flute makes multiple appearances, and there's a return for Richard Jones's Hansel and Gretel. Both are sung in English, which should aid their appeal to newcomers.
William Tell | Rossini - New Production. (c. Carlo Rizzi, d.David Pountney). William Tell - David Kempster, Arnold - Barry Banks, Mathilde - Gisela Stille, Gesler - Clive Bayley, Jemmy - Fflur Wyn, Hedwige - Leah-Marian Jones, Melchthal/Walter - Richard Wiegold, Rodolphe - Nicky Spence
Moses in Egypt | Rossini - New Production. (c.Carlo Rizzi/Simon Phillippo, d.David Pountney). Mosè - Miklós Sebestyén, Osiride - David Alegret, Amaltea - Christine Rice, Aronne - Barry Banks, Faraone - Andrew Foster-Williams, Amenofi - Leah-Marian Jones, Elcia - Claire Booth, Mambre - Nicky Spence
Carmen | Bizet. (c.Erik Nielsen/James Southall, d.Patrice Caurier & Moshe Leiser). Carmen - Alessandra Volpe/ TBA, Don Jose - Peter Wedd/Gwyn Hughes Jones, Escamillo - Kostas Smoriginas/TBA, Micaela - Jessica Muirhead
Chorus! | New Production. Starring Lesley Garrett and WNO Chorus, directed by David Pountney
The Magic Flute | Mozart. Sung in English. (c.Lothar Koenigs, d.Dominic Cooke). Tamino - Allan Clayton/Benjamin Hulett, Pamina - Sophie Bevan/Anita Watson, Papageno - Jacques Imbrailo/Daniel Grice, Sarastro - Scott Wilde, Speaker - Ashley Holland, Queen of the Night - Samantha Hay
Hansel and Gretel | Humperdinck. Sung in English. (c.Lothar Koenigs, d.Richard Jones). Gretel - Ailish Tynan, Hansel - Anna Grevelius, The Witch - Adrian Thompson, Peter - Ashley Holland, The Mother - Miriam Murphy
Pelléas et Mélisande | Debussy. New Production. (c.Lothar Koenigs, d.David Pountney). Pelleas - Jacques Imbrailo, Melisande - Jurgita Adomonyte, Golaud - Christopher Purves, Genevieve - Leah-Marian Jones
The Magic Flute | Mozart. Sung in English. Tamino - Benjamin Hulett, Pamina - Elizabeth Watts, Papageno - Daniel Grice, Sarastro - Scott Wilde, Speaker - Ashley Holland, Queen of the Night - Kathryn Lewek
Peter Pan | Richard Ayres/Lavinia Greenlaw. New Production, British Première. (c.Erik Nielsen, d.Keith Warner) Peter Pan - Iestyn Morris, Wendy - Marie Arnet, Mr Darling / Captain Hook - Ashley Holland, Mrs Darling / Tiger Lilly - TBA, John - Nicholas Sharratt, Michael - Rebecca Bottone, Nana - Aidan Smith