Mid Wales Opera has lost its appeal against a cut in funding from the Arts Council of Wales (ACW).
In September it emerged that Mid Wales Opera (MWO) would not been offered funding as part of ACW’s 2023 Investment Review. The decision was described by MWO at the time as a “hammer blow” for both performers and audiences.
The board of MWO submitted an appeal on the decision last month, in the hope that funding could be secured once again.
But this week it was revealed that the appeal was unsuccessful.
Chair of the MWO Board Gareth Williams said: “Audiences across Wales and the Marches from Abergavenny to Holyhead and from Fishguard to Mold have expressed delight with MWO’s witty and joyful ‘Beatrice and Benedict’, which closed with a captivating performance in Ludlow’s Assembly Rooms on Saturday night.
“They have echoed the view of The Guardian’s Rian Evans that ‘Such a slick staging, with artistic values paramount, is delightful and it could not underline more emphatically the sheer incomprehensibility of the Arts Council of Wales’s recent decision to cut this company’s funding completely.”
MWO, which has been running for the past 35 years, has said its thoughts are now turning to the future, with their sights now set on their much-anticipated new production of Verdi’s Macbeth on March 2.
The company has said that beyond that, however, their future remains “very uncertain”.
Mr Williams has appealed for donations to ensure the company can continue its work until the end of 2024.
“Our appeal against the Arts Council Wales’ decision to end our funding from April 2024 has been dismissed, despite an admission that their appraisal seriously misrepresented the way in which we pay our artists, and copious evidence of the enormous gap which the decision will leave both for audiences and for the career development of Welsh singers and musicians,” he said.
“Nevertheless, we sincerely hope that we will be able to undertake a new SmallStages tour next autumn, as well as a schools’ residency in the early summer. While our accumulated reserves – together with the generosity of ‘Beatrice and Benedict’ audiences who donated more than £3000 - should take us most of the way towards this, additional financial support from our friends and well-wishers needed to ensure we can do so.”
Anyone wishing to support the work of Mid Wales Opera can donate online here or by cheque to Mid Wales Opera, Bryn Wgan, Caersws, SY17 5QU’.
The Macbeth MainStages tour will come to Brecon’s Theatr Brycheiniog on Saturday, March 23, 2024.