Advanced Television

Welsh language opera for Channel 4

June 16, 2022

Channel 4 and S4C have co-commissioned Cardiff based production company Afanti Media, to co-produce with OPRA Cymru the first ever musical adaptation in the Welsh language, it was announced at Wales Screen Summit by Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer, Channel 4.

S4C and Channel 4 will be creating a film production of Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night) for the first time as a simulcast to global audiences.

One Moonlit Night is Caradog Prichard’s semi-autobiographical work. It tells of the traumatising event in the author’s childhood when he took his mother to the local asylum from where she was never to return. This experience became the inspiration for him as a creative writer in later life. Welsh film director, Marc Evans will bring the opera to life on the screen through an combination of period drama sets and location work juxtaposed with archive from the period of the First World War, landscape shots of North Wales, and the quarry community of Bethesda where the novel is based. The cinematic visualisation and storytelling will be underpinned by the orchestration of Gareth Glyn’s inspired score as recorded by the Welsh National Opera Orchestra. The language of the libretto is Welsh so the film will be subtitled in English.

Llinos Griffin- Williams, Chief Content Officer S4C, said: “Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night) is a powerful and courageous novel and one of Britain’s most significant pieces of literature. We are thrilled to see Caradog Prichard’s work adapted by the talented Marc Evans in its native language. Loyalty and betrayal, hope and despair the story is a captivating and sinister piece of work we hope will delight global audiences and bring a new perspective to the classic. Channel 4 continues to be an excellent creative partner for S4C as we venture on another exciting collaboration.”

Katz added: “We are delighted to be working with S4C on Un Nos Ola Leuad, a musical adaptation of the novel widely regarded as the greatest piece of Welsh language literature. Despite its setting at the end of World War One, this timeless work covers themes of poverty and mental health and continues to be powerfully relevant today. Un Nos Ola Leuad will be the first Welsh language opera ever broadcast on British TV and is a brilliant example of the kind of distinctive public service programming that a purpose-driven publicly owned Channel 4 can deliver.”

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