The desire to broaden our horizons is a natural one, but for many, it is a necessity to improve on circumstances. However, the result of doing so often has unintended consequences. 

Through a series of parallel storylines, Welsh National Opera’s new opera explores the highs and lows of migration: from the migration of birds to the sailing of The Mayflower over 400 years ago; from the story of an Afro-Caribbean slave in Bristol to the experience of Indian doctors working in the NHS.

The versatility of the music adapts to the setting and mood of each narrative, written by six writers from diverse backgrounds. An expanded WNO Orchestra is joined by a cast of over 100 performers, including WNO Chorus, Renewal Choir Community Chorus, Bollywood ensemble and a children’s chorus.

This is an epic drama on a huge scale, an unmissable live experience.

Tom Service visits Welsh National Opera, in Cardiff, to see rehearsals for the epic production of Migrations, to open this month, exploring the good and bad of both humans’ and birds’ movements across centuries – from a slave in Bristol, to NHS doctors arriving from India, to the challenges refugees face today. Tom hears from composer Will Todd and some of the 6 librettists, among them Sir David Pountney, Eric Ngalle Charles, Shreya Sen-Handley and Miles Chambers.

Listen to the full podcast here

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