Preview: Welsh National Opera, Kiss Me, Kate

“1940s Baltimore and it’s op’nin’ night of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Rehearsals are over, costumes donned and there’s a 10 minute curtain call. What you’re about to witness is a whole lot more than Shakespeare’s comic love story…”

Welsh National Opera’s Autumn season featured three productions inspired by William Shakespeare, as part of the official Shakespeare 400 celebrations to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death. After playing host to Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice in September, the season is completed at Wales Millennium Centre with Cole Porter’s classic musical Kiss Me, Kate. A co-production with Opera North, Kiss Me, Kate pays homage to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, featuring show-stopping numbers from a mix of operatic and West End singers, alongside the renowned WNO Chorus and Orchestra.

With a story full of wit, hit songs and humour, Kiss Me, Kate is guaranteed to raise a smile and sounds like the perfect introduction to opera, for those of you who are new to the genre. The cast features Jeni Bern as leading lady Lilli Vanessi/Katherine and Quirijn de Lang as charming leading man Fred Graham/Petruchio, her ex-husband. The story revolves around their tempestuous relationship as they prepare to stage a musical version of The Taming of The Shrew.

Kiss Me, Kate will be directed by Jo Davies, having directed the production at Opera North, and James Holmes returns to WNO to conduct, following his Autumn 2015 performances with Sweeney Todd. With fantastic costumes, brilliant choreography and numerous hits, the show promises to be a spectacular!

WNO’s Autumn season opened at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre before a UK tour and now further performances of Kiss Me, Kate will take place at The Centre in December, rounding up the tour. Catch it from the 6th-10th December, and, the great news is that WNO offer selected tickets for £5 for 16-30 year olds! Who said going to watch the Opera meant breaking the bank? Sounds like the perfect evening out if you fancy a bit of culture!

Quench Culture also are also sending a reviewer along to Kiss Me, Kate’s press night, so watch this space for our thoughts!