Association of British Orchestras

Welsh National Opera

Contact details

Wales Millennium Centre Bute Place Cardiff
CF10 5AL
The WNO Orchestra was formed in 1970. Since then, it has established itself as one of the finest orchestras in the UK, highly praised for its distinction in wide ranging operatic repertoire, as well as for its extremely varied concert work and portfolio of recordings. Resident at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, WNO Orchestra is one of two permanent, full-time ensembles at the heart of the Company, alongside the WNO Chorus. Former Music Directors of Welsh National Opera and its Orchestra include Carlo Rizzi (now WNO Conductor Laureate), Lothar Koenigs and the late Sir Charles Mackerras. Tomáš Hanus joined the Company as Music Director in August 2016.

In addition to a substantial operatic remit for WNO, the Orchestra’s stature and reputation as a world-class ensemble in its own right is demonstrated by its distinguished involvement in the St David’s Hall International Concert Series in Cardiff each year. On the concert platform, the Orchestra is regularly active at many high profile concert and festival engagements, covering an extremely wide range of styles from large symphonic works through to lighter orchestral and popular music, together with a regular portfolio of family concerts and chamber music engagements.

WNO has a firm commitment to concerts and residency programmes across Wales and England, and 2017 has seen the WNO Orchestra performing in Bangor, Newtown and Aberystwyth, alongside regular performances (directed by the Orchestra’s Leader, David Adams) in the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Beyond the conventional performance arenas, WNO Orchestra, in line with the Company’s commitment to young artistic talent, operates an extensive side-by-side mentoring scheme through rehearsal and performance programmes with students. This activity has been taking place through partnerships with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, the Birmingham Conservatoire and a burgeoning relationship with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in Greenwich.

Annual Conference

The next ABO conference will take place in Gateshead,
hosted by The Glasshouse ICM, from 5-7 February 2025.