Professor Mererid Hopwood’s latest work on tour with Welsh-language opera company


Mererid Hopwood, Professor at Yr Athrofa, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, has written the libretto to a new opera due to be performed by Opra Cymru this month.

Mererid Hopwood - Cliff Tucker Memorial Lecture

The opera is based on the novel Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd by Islwyn Ffowc Elis and has been set to music by Welsh composer Gareth Glyn. The tour begins in Pontio, Bangor on 10th November in partnership with Bangor University and will be visiting Wrexham, Newtown, Aberystwyth, Barry, Swansea and Pwllheli.

Islwyn Ffowc Elis was a Welsh writer and academic whose works are considered classics of the Welsh language. He taught at Trinity College, Carmarthen and was a Lecturer and Reader at University of Wales, Lampeter, between 1975 and 1988. His 1953 novel Cysgod y Cryman was named Welsh Language Book of the Century by the Arts Council of Wales in 1999.

Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd was written exactly 60 years ago in 1957 and it takes the readers on two journeys to Wales in the year 2033, the first to a Wales with a fair and just society, the second to Western England where the Welsh language has died out.

 “The novel reminds us that the future depends on what we do in the present,” said Mererid Hopwood, “and in this sense it challenges us and, at the same time, offers hope.”

The opera itself is delivered in the Welsh. However, Opra Cymru have developed an app, called ‘Sibrwd’ (‘whisper’) to enable non-Welsh speakers and Welsh learners to enjoy the opera. The app can be downloaded at venues with WiFi and will make the opera accessible to all.  

Professor Mererid Hopwood is Professor at Yr Athrofa, University of Wales Trinity Saint David. In 2001, she was the first woman to win the prestigious Chair at the National Eisteddfod. She has won the Chair and Crown for poetry at the National Eisteddfod as well as the National Prose Medal. In 2005 she was Bardd Plant Cymru (Children's Laureate for Wales), and in 2011 won the Glyndwr Prize for her contribution to literature in Wales. Her collection of poems, Nes Draw, won the poetry category in the Welsh Book of the Year competition in 2016.

Tour Dates 2017

10&11 November   Pontio, Bangor

14 November         Stiwt Theatre, Wrexham

16 November         The Hafren, Newtown

17 November         Aberystwyth Arts Centre 

21 November         Memo Arts Centre, Barry

23 November         Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea       

25 November         Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli



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