NOVA Billings

Blodwen  May 2019
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Opera 101 Classes

Dulais Rhys Conductor and  Music Director for Blowden

IPA libretto

Following the pattern of Romantic Italian opera, the story takes place in 14 th century Wales and includes a wedding, lovers, dying heroes and a dramatic final twist. The opera’s stirring music shows Parry at his dramatic best: heroic and romantic solos, exciting ensembles, powerful choruses and of course, the famous ‘Hywel a Blodwen’ love duet which remains popular as a concert item and is considered one of the highlights of amateur performances of the opera.

Three illustrated lectures on the history, content, and importance of Blodwen - the first Welsh opera.

Music: Dr. Joseph Parry (1841-1903)
Libretto: Richard Davies (1833-77)
New chamber version: Dulais Rhys (Blodwen Editor/Publisher and Guest Conductor)
Performances: May 10/11 and 18/19* at 7:30 P.M. (*2 P.M. matinée), NOVA (Roebling Theater)

Multiple firsts for Rimrock Opera Foundation, NOVA … and Billings!

DATES: April 2/9/16, 2019 (all Tuesdays)
TIME: 5:30-7:00 P.M. (1.5 hrs)
LOCATION: NOVA Center for the Performing Arts, 2317 Montana Avenue, Billings, MT 59101

Cast List
Janie Sutton -- Blodwen
Douglas Nagel -- Iolo (The Bard)
Jeremy Huw Williams --Arthur
Nerys Jones -- Lady Maelor
Kate Meyer  -- Elen
Scott Wichael -- Hywel Ddu
Kieran Beebe -- Rhys Gwyn (father of Blodwen
Benjamin Meyer -- Negesydd/Messenger
Kayla Marie Mudgett  --  Cover for Blodwen and Chorus Member
Aaron Walker Tenor  -- cover for Hywel Ddu  and

Comprimario roles

1. #1 Negesydd/Messenger (Baritone) 2'
2. #10 Mynach/Monk (Bass) 3'
3. #14 Blaenwr/Leader (Tenor)


Michelle Berger - Production Assistant and Lady Maelor Cover


Osian Rhys -- Director
Richele Sitton -- Orchestra Manager
Dr. Paula Fan -- Accompanist
Janie Sutton Dulais Rhys -- Co-Chorus Masters
Glenda Brauneis -- Costumer

Dodie Rife -- Stage Manager

Video   Translation - • January 13, 2019

Liberettist Richard Davies Composer's family  - Music: Dr. Joseph Parry (1841-1903)
Richard Davies (1833-77) and Composer's family - Music: Dr. Joseph Parry (1841-1903)

For the first time in history a chamber version of Welsh Opera will be performed outside Wales in May this year.

The opera Blodwen by Joseph Parry, composed in 1877, will be performed in Billings, Montana in the United States.

Although a selection of the opera was performed in America over a century ago, this is the first time that this chamber version has been performed outside Wales.

A Welshman who now lives in Montana since 2018, Dulais Rhys, is the Opera Orchestra Conductor.

"Since I moved to America I've been in contact with several opera companies asking if they are interested in staging and producing a Welsh opera. We did not have many positive reactions in America, but Rimrock Opera Foundation from Montana came back to say they wanted to produce Blodwen. The next step for me was to move from San Francisco where I have lived since 2011, to Montana."

Four performances from Blodwen will be at the NOVA Center, Montana in early May.

There are six main roles in the opera and two of the main singers can speak Welsh.

Jeremy Huw Williams from Cardiff will play the role of Arthur and Nerys Jones, who is now living in Seattle, will play the role of Lady Maelor.
These performances will complement the performers of the chorus who have learned Welsh songs.

Blodwen follows an Italian romantic opera pattern. The story is set in Wales during the 14th century and includes marriage, lovers, dead heroes and happiness at the end.

Dr Rhys added: "The linguistic exercises have been been a great deal of fun teaching the chorus and other leads Welsh. Supratulations [supertitles] will appear during the performance to help the audience with the words. I'm very pleased that the company's President, Lucinda Butler, has chosen to produce this opera. She has links with Wales after her daughter studied at Swansea University."

There will be four performances of Blodwen at the NOVA Center, Montana, between 10 and 19 May this year.

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NOVA Center for the Performing Arts - 2317 Montana Avenue - Billings, MT 59101
PO Box 11
Billings, MT 59103
Phone: 406-591-9535