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Welsh National Opera presents an eco-friendly musical showcase

20 May 2024 3 minute read
The Very Last Green Thing

Welsh National Opera is set to showcase the talent of the Company’s award-winning Youth Opera in The Very Last Green Thing – an eco-friendly musical performance.

This year’s Seligman Youth Opera Performance is directed by Rhian Hutchings and designed by Designer Greta Baxter, and follows a group of school children and their android teacher as they embark on a trip outdoors in the year 2423.

In this dystopian future, completely devoid of the natural world, the children encounter a time-capsule which encases the very last trace of nature still living on Earth.

Sustainable

In keeping with the environmentally conscious themes of the story, the production has endeavoured to be sustainable across all areas of the performance, but specifically in relation to its design.

The production’s props and costumes consist of various recycled materials with many items being previously owned or repurposed from older productions. An eco-friendly approach was something designer Greta Baxter considered from the outset of her design process. 

With regards to her sustainable approach to design, Greta said: ‘It’s important to me to avoid single use when it comes to my designs.

With both set and costume, the main factor has been to source as many second-hand materials as possible, whether this be through sourcing items from charity shops or repurposing set and costume from old shows.”

Talent

Greta is a Welsh designer and recent graduate from Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and follows in the footsteps of previous emerging designers like Gabriella Slade.

Gabriella designed WNO Youth Opera’s production of Kommilitonen! in 2017 and has since gone on to design for Six: The Musical and The Spice Girls World Tour.

As a result, in recent years, this emerging designer role has become regarded in the industry as a significant steppingstone from training to a professional career in design.

On gaining this prestigious opportunity, Greta added: “It’s been wonderful, having graduated just last Summer, to now be working with WNO and experiencing what it’s like to design for Opera. It’s been great to see everything I’ve been taught come to good use in a professional job, as well as being able to collaborate and meet with talented individuals.”

WNO Youth Opera is an award-winning training programme for young people, aged from 10 – 25 years, who love to sing and perform.

Cherry Town Moscow – Cast. Photo credit Craig Fuller 16

Alongside offering audiences entertainment, the young people of WNO’s Youth Opera gain a fully professional and unique training experience working with WNO’s Orchestra, designers, stage managers and technicians. The aspiring singers also receive mentoring and guidance from top industry professionals.

WNO Youth Opera Producer, Paula Scott said: ‘WNO Youth Opera was established in the mid-1990’s as a way for the Company to share its love of opera with aspiring young singers.

“Our aim is to open up a world of new experiences and opportunities, which are fun and exciting – where participants gain an insight into working with a professional Opera company and learn about the many different career paths, on and off stage, whilst developing life skills, increasing self-confidence and making new friends.’

The Very Last Green Thing will be performed at Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May. For further details please visit: wno.org.uk 


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