Welsh National Opera Announces Changes to 2024-25 Season Due to Financial Challenges

By Francisco Salazar

The Welsh National Opera has announced that it will be reducing its 2024-25 season due to financial challenges.

The company noted that it will no longer be touring the Bristol Hippodrome in February 2025, and will not be touring Venue Cymru, Llandudno in May 2025.

The WNO said that it will still be visiting Venue Cymru in the Autumn as planned with its new production of “Rigoletto,” alongside “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” and an Opera Favorites performance. It also noted that a performance of “Rigoletto” in Cardiff in February 2025 will also not go ahead as planned, but this has no impact on the Autumn performances of this new production.

According to a press release the changes were decided to difficult economic times facing all sectors, as well as substantial reductions in WNO’s public funding,

This year the Arts Councils of England and Wales announced that the WNO received a 35 percent (£2.2m) reduction in its funding, and an 11.8 percent reduction in its funding from ACW for 2024-25 against its application (£4.5m) for standstill funding.

In a statement the WNO Interim General Director Christopher Barron said, “We have had to make the regrettable decision to make changes to our 2024-2025 Season, which we know will come as a deep disappointment to our audiences in Bristol and Llandudno. Our venue partners will of course be contacting all those who have already booked to arrange exchanges or refunds. ‘Our new financial situation means that we have the challenge of balancing a reduced budget whilst maintaining artistic standards in providing a stimulating programme of performance and engagement activities. This means taking decisions that are difficult but, in the circumstances, unavoidable. These have been carefully considered and have been discussed with both our venues and the Arts Councils.”