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S4C and Channel 4 commission first ever Welsh language opera to be broadcast on UK TV

16 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read
Un Nos Ola Leuad

Broadcasters Channel 4 and S4C have announced they are jointly commissioning the first ever Welsh language opera to be broadcast on British TV.

Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night) is based on Caradog Prichard’s semi-autobiographical novel which tells of the traumatising event in the author’s childhood when he took his mother to the local asylum from where she was never to return.

Helmed by acclaimed Welsh film director Marc Evans, the opera, which will be subtitled in English, will feature a combination of period drama sets and location work juxtaposed with powerful archive footage from the period during the First World War, landscape shots of North Wales, and the quarry community of Bethesda where the novel is based.

Described as a ground-breaking blend of opera and film, composer Gareth Glyn’s score will be performed by the Welsh National Opera Orchestra.

The cast of the opera is a combination of established Welsh opera stars and new, up-and-coming talent.

Powerful

Llinos Griffin- Williams, Chief Content Officer S4C, said: “Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night) is a powerful and courageous novel and one of Britain’s most significant pieces of literature.

“We are thrilled to see Caradog Prichard’s work adapted by the talented Marc Evans in its native language.

“Loyalty and betrayal, hope and despair the story is a captivating and sinister piece of work we hope will delight global audiences and bring a new perspective to the classic.”

Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer Channel 4, added: “We are delighted to be working with S4C on Un Nos Ola Leuad, a musical adaptation of the novel widely regarded as the greatest piece of Welsh language literature.

“Despite its setting at the end of World War One, this timeless work covers themes of poverty and mental health and continues to be powerfully relevant today.

“Un Nos Ola Leuad will be the first Welsh language opera ever broadcast on British TV and is a brilliant example of the kind of distinctive public service programming that a purpose-driven publicly owned Channel 4 can deliver.”

Marc Evans Director and Exec Producer of the film said: “I am not an opera buff, but I came to this project with an open mind and was inspired. By listening to the music and diving into the world of Un Nos Ola Leuad, it struck me that the dream-like combination of myth and memory evoked by the book is perfectly suited to a musical, cinematic interpretation.”


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