Ukrainian opera comes to Llandudno ahead of war anniversary

  • ITV Wales reporter Rob Shelley went backstage to meet the cast and crew in Venue Cymru.

A Ukrainian opera company will perform in Wales for the first time almost exactly two years to the day since Russia's illegal invasion.

The Ukrainian National Opera company from Dnipro will take the stage at Venue Cymru in Llandudno on Monday evening.

It is part of a UK tour which will see the group from central Ukraine perform three different operas.

The audience in north Wales will be treated to a showing of Carmen, which tells the story of a love struck soldier.

The Ukrainian National Opera will present Carmen on Monday evening. Credit: ITV Wales/Ukrainian National Opera

Talking ahead of Monday's performance, conductor Ihor Puchkov said it was "very difficult" for his team to perform at the start of the war in February 2022.

He added: "Now we have learned to live, create and work in conditions of war and missile attacks. We learned how to give performances, premieres and fill the halls."

Ihor also revealed his admiration for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has led Ukraine throughout the conflict.

He said: "This is a man who made a historical turning point in the history of our country, a turning point in the attitude towards human values.

"I had the honour of conducting one of his official receptions and receiving some pleasant words from him regarding our performance. It seems to me that he is a very open person with a wonderful sense of humour. I think it would be an unforgettable meeting."

Talking to ITV Wales ahead of the show, Ihor said he hoped it would demonstrate "Ukrainian spirit."

Reflecting on previous performances, the conductor said it had received an emotional response at other venues, with people showing "big, big support" for those on stage and for Ukraine.

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