BRECON FESTIVAL BALLET WELCOMES YOU
Brecon Festival Ballet is a not-for-profit company that was formed to present a brand-new production of The Nutcracker at Theatr Brycheiniog for Christmas 2019. Not only was this the first time a professional version of this iconic ballet had been produced in Wales, it was also the first time that Theatr Brycheiniog had ever presented a full-length ballet with a live orchestra!
The Nutcracker is probably the world’s most popular ballet – performed to packed houses all over the globe each Christmas. The ballet is a winning combination of Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music featuring famous and very familiar tunes, and a magical story involving a Christmas party, a journey through the Christmas Wood and a feast of iconic dances in the Kingdom of Sweets, ruled over by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
This production was created by Artistic Director Katy Sinnadurai, a ballet dancer and choreographer based in Brecon. All principal roles were performed by professional ballet dancers, with children’s and character roles taken by local dance students and actors. The corps de ballet roles were performed by full-time students from King's International Ballet Academy. The Snowflakes chorus was sung by a local choir, and the production was accompanied by the Welsh Chamber Orchestra.
This extremely ambitious project was made possible by grants and a fund-raising campaign which helped cover the costs of this exciting production… Brecon’s very own Christmas ballet. All performances played to sell-out audiences, and such was its success that we are repeating it again from 18th to 21st December 2020. In the event that Covid-19 prevents this production from going ahead, we are working on a “Plan B”, see Covid-19 below.
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WELSH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
The Welsh Chamber Orchestra was founded to fill the gap in the music making life of Wales between the performances of small chamber music ensembles and those of the symphony orchestra. Since its inception in 1986 it has performed with many of the world's greatest soloists, and undertaken several European concert tours as well as performing throughout the UK. For many years it was resident chamber orchestra in the Swansea International Concert Series where its innovative policy of giving second performances of works by Welsh composers was highly regarded. It has recorded numerous television programmes including a New York Film Festival prize-winning Opera series. The orchestra's first commercial recordings were of works by William Mathias and Alun Hoddinott. A second disc of works by Alun Hoddinott has since been released, and a further one of Michael Tippett’s works will be issued shortly.
A key part of the orchestra's artistic policy is to perform in North Wales where it was the resident orchestra at Glyndŵr University for several years, giving many concerts for schoolchildren along with a public concert series. North Wales is relatively ill-served in performances of orchestral music compared to other parts of the country and the orchestra is proud to be associated with the William Mathias Centre in Caernarfon and resident orchestra at the Beaumaris Festival on Anglesey.
There are lots of ways you can become a part of the Brecon Festival Ballet community...
Although the principal roles are danced by professional dancers, this is a community production and there are plenty of opportunities for local dancers, actors and singers to get involved. Please see below for further information.
Information about auditions will be made available in due course, if the full production is able to go ahead.
BE A PART OF THIS EXCITING PRODUCTION!
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
In 2019, our inaugural year, thanks to your generous support, we raised the full cost of the production through grants and donations.
The income from ticket sales in 2019 will go towards paying for our orchestra in 2020 (or whenever we are next able to mount our full production – see Covid-19 below), but we will still need to fundraise for the cost of our professional dancers, for pointe shoes (at around £50 per pair and lasting on average for 1 performance!) and the creation of new scenery and costumes, with the eventual aim that our entire production has been sourced and created in Brecon.
We are living through extraordinary times. Following the success of our 2019 performances, we were so looking forward to returning in 2020 to entertain Brecon audiences and to involve the community once again in our creative work. However, we must be realistic and are therefore planning for 2 different scenarios at present, taking account of the latest developments, government guidelines and safety practices in our planning:
1... That the full production goes ahead in December, which we believe will only happen if a vaccine becomes available in the Autumn. We would then “fast track” our rehearsal process and feel confident we could bring the ballet together in time for our scheduled 7 Christmas performances.
2... That we are not able to present the full Nutcracker production this year, due to social distancing measures and restrictions on theatres having a full auditorium. In this case, rather than do no performance this year, we are planning to present a smaller “concert” style ballet gala. We would work with our principal dancers to present a few excerpts from Nutcracker along with a variety of well- known and less well-known ballet pieces. In addition, Katy Sinnadurai would work with the professionals to create a brand-new short ballet, based on the isolation, frustration and sorrow we are currently experiencing. This gala could have a limited number of socially distanced audience members and could also potentially be broadcast or recorded for home viewing.
We are doing our best to keep Brecon Festival Ballet going at this time, for the benefit of you, our audience, for the local community – especially the children that gained so much from being involved last year – and for the professional dancers and musicians that have lost all of their work and income due to the pandemic.
Please support us if you can.
You can donate online by clicking the button below. Alternatively, cheques (payable to Brecon Festival Ballet) can be sent to BFB Ltd, 6 Fronwen Terrace, Cradoc Road, Brecon LD3 9HB
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Brecon Beacons National Park Sustainable Development Fund
Brecon Rotary Club
Brecon Town Council
The Audrey Tyler Trust
The Gibbs Trust