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Welsh National Opera

In Parenthesis

May - July 2016



In Parenthesis | Come & Sing

Wales Millennium Centre
Fri 13th May
6 – 6.45pm

National Museum Wales
Fri 3 June
2.30 – 3.15pm

You are invited to take part in one of our Come & Sing events. The traditional Welsh folk-song Sosban Fach (‘Little Saucepan’) will be at the heart of the events. Sung by soldiers in the World War I trenches and referenced by David Jones in his poem, it also opens Act ll of WNO’s In Parenthesis.

Free Event

WNO Field

Wales Millennium Centre
Fri 13th May – 23 June

Open day and night.

A spectacular digital installation will provide a poignant memorial to the Royal Welch Fusiliers who died at Mametz Wood. The interactive installation will be situated directly outside of Wales Millennium Centre.

Free Event

In Parenthesis Study Day

Wales Millennium Centre
Sat 21st May
10.30am – 4.30pm

Mametz Wood, poetry and song

In collaboration with Cardiff University, WNO present an In Parenthesis Study Day, exploring the themes, poetry and music connected to David Jones’ epic World War I poem.


10.30-12.00 ‘The Long-stretched Agony’: Mametz Wood in Memory and History: Dr Toby Thacker (School of History, Archaeology and Religion)
Saucepans, Cats and Rugby: The Case of ‘Good Old Sospan Fach’: Professor Sioned Davies (School of Welsh)
12.00-13.30 Lunch (not provided)
13.30-15.00 Aspects of Opposition to the Great War in Wales: Aled Eirug (School of History, Archaeology and Religion)
Grangetown and Welsh-language poetry of the First World War: Dr Dylan Foster Evans (School of Welsh)
15.00-15.30 Tea (provided)
15.30-16.30 Keeping the Home Fires Burning: Wartime Songs and ‘Novello’ Plans: Dr Rachelle Barlow (School of Music), followed by a recital of wartime songs by Ivor Novello and Clara Novello Davies performed by Siân Cameron (Orchestral Hall – please arrive at WMC Stage door by 15.15 in order to sign in).
18.15-18.45 Pre-performance talk for WNO’s In Parenthesis by WNO Dramaturg Sophie Rashbrook
19.15 Second Performance of WNO’s In Parenthesis.

Free Event
To book tickets, please visit:

In Parenthesis Broadcasts

The Opera Platform
Friday 1 July

In Parenthesis will be streamed on The Opera Platform at 7pm 1 July, and then available to view online for free for six months. To find out more, please click here.

In Parenthesis will also be screened at selected venues across Wales:

Pontio, Bangor 3 July

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 6 July

Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard 9 July

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 16 July

Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay 22 November

“War’s Hell!” The Battle of Mametz Wood in Art

National Museum Wales
Sat 30th April – Sun 4th September 2016

From 30 April to 4 September this year, National Museum Cardiff presents a new exhibition remembering one of the most significant and bloody battles fought by Welsh soldiers during the First World War.

Works on display include the Frontispiece drawing from the first edition of David Jones’ ‘In Parenthesis’.

David Jones in Capel-Y-Ffin

Sun 8th May

To coincide with the première performances of In Parenthesis, the new opera by Iain Bell, David Alston, Arts Director with the Arts Council of Wales, hosts a walk and a talk around Capel -y-ffin in the Brecon Beacons.

David Jones trained as an artist in London but had Welsh roots through his family. After his war experiences on the Somme at Mametz – the basis for his later poem In Parenthesis – Jones picked up his vocation to be an artist and worked in the ambit of Eric Gill. Gill based his family and community in a monastic property in the Ewyas valley, on from Llantony in the mid-1920s

David Alston curated the David Jones centenary exhibition at Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales and explores what this place meant for the young David Jones and his art in a walk and a talk. You’ll need, appropriate footwear, clothing and a picnic.

Free event: this is a free event  but numbers are limited.

To book tickets please email

Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye Festival
Fri 27th May

The composer and librettists of the WNO’s groundbreaking new opera introduce their adaptation of David Jones’ classic First World War poem and screen film clips of the production. Follow link to Hay website to book.

Tickets: £7

In Parenthesis: A Radio 3 Free Thinking Landmark programme recording

Wales Millennium Centre
Fri 13th May
Doors open at 15.45

Radio 3’s Arts and Ideas programme Free Thinking is recording a Landmark edition exploring the life of David Jones and the way his First World War epic In Parenthesis fits into his career as a writer and artist.

The composer Iain Bell will be joined by the librettist, Emma Jenkins, the art historian, Paul Hills and the writer Iain Sinclair in a conversation chaired by Free Thinking’s Philip Dodd.

The programme will be recorded in front of an audience at Welsh National Opera in Cardiff at 1600 on May 13th, the same day as the premiere of Iain Bell’s opera based on Jones’ poem.

There’ll be an opportunity to ask questions and an edited version of the event will be broadcast at 10pm on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 18th May. It will then be available as one of Radio 3’s an Arts and Ideas downloads.

Free Event: Free tickets available to book and can be requested from (Please note limited availability.)

Radio 3 is recording Iain Bell’s opera for broadcast on Saturday 2nd July. This is one of a variety of programmes commemorating the major battles of the Great War from 1916: the Battle of Verdun, the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of The Somme which the BBC will be broadcasting this year.


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