news and views.

Join the Revolution!

We urge the people of Wales to join the Revolution...

As we move into 2017 the Orchard team comprising PRcreative, website and collateral designfilm productionmedia planning and buying, and events are all involved in R17 – a unique collaboration of the leading arts organisations in Wales to reflect on the centenary of the Russian Revolution and its links with Wales.

Working with the likes of Welsh National OperaBBC NOW, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, we’ve created the look and feel of R17, and launched the cultural season both in Cardiff and London, getting national media profile with the likes of our Pop Up Soviet, and Patrons, the actor Michael Sheen and Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.

Throughout the year there’ll be performances and events in the first collaboration of its kind, which capture the social and cultural explosion of the era, and Wales’ historic connections with the Russia of the time.

Michael Sheen said “With so many exciting events taking place throughout 2017, I am looking forward to attending and participating in the R17 Season in Wales.”

Why Wales you may ask? 

In addition to the passion of the Welsh arts community to produce and stage some of the best of Russian culture here next year, there is a strong historic resonance between the revolution and the radical traditions of the South Wales Valleys. Immediate links were forged with the emerging Soviet Union, letters sent from Lenin himself to Valleys miners, the foundations of the first UK Communist Party in the Valleys, and the legacy of ‘Little Moscows’ such as Maerdy, whose socialist sympathies produced several important Communist trade unionists. 

Key #R17 milestones 

Russian Revolution - a massive and unique presentation by Welsh National Opera of three major Russian themed works in the same season: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina, and Janáček’s From the House of the Dead. Khovanshchina and From the House of the Dead will be directed by WNO Artistic Director David Pountney and conducted by WNO’s new Music Director Tomáš Hanus.

National Dance Company Wales has commissioned a contemporary re-interpretation of the 1917 ballet Parade choreographed by Artistic Director Caroline Finn as part of a large-scale spectacular event, P.A.R.A.D.E. created by eminent artist Marc Rees. The original circus based ballet involved Picasso, Satie & Diaghilev. Music is provided by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama will host a UK exclusive visit by the Stradivarius Ensemble of the Mariinsky Orchestra of St Petersburg’s leading string players, together with R17 Patron Valery Gergiev, to perform a stunning Russian programme in the College’s intimate Dora Stoutzker Hall in October 2017.

The Sherman Theatre will produce a new adaptation of Chekhov’s enduring classic, The Cherry Orchard, by Gary Owen and directed by Rachel O’Riordan, which will run at the Sherman Theatre prior to touring across Wales.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård open their 2017-18 season at St David’s Hall with music by Shostakovich, Beethoven and Mosolov. 



news and views.