Live opera has returned this October as Mid Wales Opera’s SmallStages tour brings professional performances to community venues and theatres across Wales and the Borders – with shows in the Holroyd Theatre near Oswestry, Trefeglwys Memorial Hall and SpArC, Bishops Castle.

And where better to start with the return of live music than with a celebration of one of opera’s most loved composers, and with two of his best loved works?

MWO’s 2021/2022 ‘Puccini in Paris’ season starts with Il tabarro (The cloak) as the centrepiece of the SmallStages Autumn Tour followed in Spring 2022 by a fully staged production of La bohème in partnership with Ensemble Cymru.

Il Tabarro really is grand opera in miniature, featuring a simmering love triangle on the shores of the Seine in Paris and capturing the spirit of the city, and the turbulent lives of Michele the barge owner and his wife Giorgetta as their marriage hits stormy waters and she falls for the charming Luigi, sung by tenor Robyn Lyn Evans.

Robyn told us: “It’s not often that the characters I perform are killed on stage (only two from over 30 roles so far!) so it will be nice to get to finish singing (slightly) earlier for a change!”

MWO’s Artistic Director, Richard Studer, can’t wait to get back to life on tour. He explained “After 18 months of absence from theatres the chance to perform live, to happily endure the ramshackle life on the road, even the reality of living out of a suitcase again is a prospect that thrills me!

“MWO’s new production is the first time I have directed and designed this opera and now we are finally in production I am revelling in its beauty and complexity. Il tabarro, as with La bohème is an opera full of emotional depth and musical colour, each capturing both the soul and stone of the city.”

The cast also includes talented Welsh performers such as soprano Elin Pritchard, Stephanie Windsor Lewis, Huw Ynyr and Emyr Wyn Jones as well as baritone Philip Smith, full details of the tour are on MWO’s website at Please check with individual venues for prices and ticket details.

Tues 19 October, 7:30pm – Holroyd Theatre, nr Oswestry – Hafren Satellite Stages

Tickets £11