Kiss Me, Kate set for Shakespeare-inspired WNO autumn season

Kiss Me, Kate. Opera North cast 2015. Quirijn de Lang as Petruchio and J...'

Quirijn de Lang and Jeni Bern will reprise their roles in Kiss Me, Kate

Cole Porter’s classic Kiss Me, Kate will be part of a celebratory Shakespeare-inspired autumn season from the Welsh National Opera.

A co-production with Opera North, Porter’s Golden Age musical version of the Bard’s The Taming of the Shrew will feature operatic and West End singers alongside the renowned WNO Chorus and Orchestra.

Directed by Jo Davies, Kiss Me, Kate will be conducted by James Holmes who returns to the WNO following his successful run with last year’s Sweeney Todd.

The stars of last year’s Opera North touring production, Jeni Bern and Quirijn de Lang, will return to the central roles of warring couple Lilli Vanessi (Katherine) and Fred Graham (Petruchio) in the production which is also choreographed by Will Tuckett.

First staged on Broadway in 1948, the multi-award winning musical contains a number of hit songs including ‘Too Darn Hot’, ‘Another Op’nin’ Another Show’ and ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’.

Kiss Me, Kate is the final production in a Shakespearean-flavoured season that will begin in Cardiff early next month and will also play dates in Liverpool, Llandudno, Birmingham, Oxford and Southampton.

WNO’s Shakespeare 400 season begins with Macbeth, a new co-production with Northern Ireland Opera which places Verdi’s opera in a contemporary setting.

The middle production will be the British premiere of André Tchaikowsky’s The Merchant of Venice.

WNO artistic director David Pountney says: “For our autumn season we join in the nationwide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Music is everywhere in Shakespeare, from the fools and clowns whose songs pepper his works, to the sublime musicality of his use of language. It is hardly surprising that he has inspired so much music, and in this wonderfully diverse season you can enjoy him as tragedian, psychologist and witty entertainer.”

Angela Thomas


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