The Welsh National Opera has announced the world premiere of “Rhonda Rips It Up!”
The new work, commissioned for the company, has been billed as “unlike anything previously presented by WNO.”
The production will tell the story of the remarkable suffragette, Margaret Haig Thomas, who tirelessly campaigned for equal rights for women. The show will premiere in Haig Thomas’s hometown of Newport before touring Wales and England during summer and autumn 2018. It will be composed by Elena Langer with a libretto by Emma Jenkins and will be led by director Caroline Clegg and music director Nicola Rose.
The work will be performed in a classic music hall style, with original songs inspired by the suffragette slogans and will take audiences on a whirlwind tour of the inspiring activist’s mission.
It will also mark the centenary of the first, partial women’s suffrage bill of 1918 and will feature an all-female cast, including soprano Lesley Garrett and Madeleine Shaw, as well as the female members of the WNO Chorus performing all the roles, including the male politicians of the time.
The work will premiere on June 7, 2018, and there will be a symposium in Newport on the challenges faced by women in the classical music world.