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Wales Millennium Centre


... critically acclaimed production of Swan Lake' ... The Australian Ballet Swan Lake. Miss Saigon. The Kirov Ballet. Cirque Eloize. WNO - Magic Flute ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Wales Millennium Centre

Wales Millennium Centre Media Information
Introducing Wales Millennium Centre
An international centre for the performing
arts Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) is
undoubtedly one of the most vibrant arts
developments in Europe today. Since its opening
on November 26, 2004, it has taken its place
alongside the leading performing arts venues of
the world. The cornerstone of the building is
the main 1,900 seat Donald Gordon Theatre. This
world class venue presents some of the most
outstanding musical theatre, opera, dance,
physical theatre and ballet performances from
across the globe. The centres other stage, the
200 seat Weston Studio, forms a dynamic theatre
for interesting new work to support and promote
cultural development and to provide a platform
for talented emerging artists - especially from
Wales - to showcase their work.
Unmistakably Welsh, internationally outstanding
The award winning WMC building connects with the
imagination and communicates a statement about
the nation. What you see in and around WMC has
been inspired by Wales, its landscape, its
traditions and its people.
The Wales Millennium Centre proves to be an
excellent dance house. The stage is broad and
handsome, the acoustics spacious. The auditorium,
lined in stripes of local wood, is wide but
well-focused. I swapped seats in the first
interval, and found good sightlines upstairs and
down. The Independent
  • The Donald Gordon Theatre
  • The centrepiece of Wales Millennium Centre is the
    Donald Gordon Theatre, in which audiences enjoy
    some of the best opera, musicals, ballet and
    dance from around the world.
  • Seating 1,900, the auditorium is designed to
    world-class opera, dance and orchestral acoustic
    and sight-line specifications.
  • The detail, the materials and the lighting within
    the Donald Gordon Theatre make it a strikingly
    distinctive and memorable venue.

World Class Acoustics WMC can boast one of
the best lyric theatres in the world with its
variable acoustic installation that ensures the
highest possible quality of sound for both the
natural acoustics of opera and the amplified
sound of musical theatre.
Wonderfully clear and lucid playing from the
orchestra, the rich yet unclogged sound an
encouraging advertisement for the theatre's warm
acoustics The Sunday Telegraph
The auditorium is a joy, airy and buoyant, with
staggering acoustics and extremely comfortable
The Spectator
The facilities at Wales Millennium Centre include
  • Donald Gordon Theatre 1,900 seats, world class
    lyric theatre
  • Weston Studio Theatre seating 200
  • Dance Studio within Diversions fully equipped
    Dance House
  • Beautiful public spaces which provide areas for a
    number of free daily arts performances in a
    relaxed setting
  • Three large rehearsal suites and an orchestral
    rehearsal hall within WNOs production facility
  • A range of shops, cafés, restaurants and bars
  • Corporate hospitality rooms
  • A fully equipped recording studio operated by Ty
  • Residential accommodation (150) beds for
    youngsters operated by Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the
    youth movement of Wales

Western Studio
Rehearsal studio
The Wales Millennium Centre is bright, spacious
and flawlessly egalitarian. Covered by abronze
shell, clad in Welsh slate, the building has
succeeded since its official opening in November
to be all things to all men. Financial Times
Opening the door to a world of arts
  • WMC is an ideal place to journey through the rich
    and diverse world of the arts at your own pace.
    From watching an international spectacle in the
    Donald Gordon Theatre, to seeing home-grown
    talent present their work in the relaxed
    atmosphere of the Glanfa foyer performance
  • Offering a broad range of varied arts and
    performance events, from dance and ballet to
    opera, musical theatre and contemporary circus,
    recent performances have included Thoroughly
    Modern Millie and the Australian Ballets
    critically acclaimed production of Swan Lake.

Cirque Eloize
Miss Saigon
The Kirov Ballet
The Australian Ballet Swan Lake
WNO - Magic Flute
Anything Goes
The first big balletic event at the Wales
Millennium Centre in Cardiff is the current
two-week season by the Kirov Ballet. And what
better way to begin? The theatre is a stunner
handsome in aspect, welcoming, vastly attractive
in its interiors with slate and oak and polished
steel, and with an auditorium that stresses
terracotta and pale wood with faultless
sight-lines and acoustic. Financial Times
Resident companies
  • Not only is WMC the venue for many touring
    productions, it is also home to seven of Waless
    leading arts organisations

Welsh National Opera (WNO) is a world-class
touring opera company. Each year it presents 120
full-scale performances to more than 150,000
people across England and Wales.
Academi is Waless national literature promotion
agency and Society for Writers, offering advice,
information and assistance to promote the work of
Welsh writers in both Welsh and English.
Diversions is a contemporary touring dance
company that offers a range of dance and
educational programmes throughout Wales. Every
year the company tour Wales and selected UK
venues as well as one international exchange each
year. They are rapidly developing a reputation
amongst the international dance fraternity.
As Waless leading small-scale touring theatre,
Hijinx take quality performances to audiences in
communities across the principality.
This pioneering charity uses dynamic combination
of arts, movement, music and touch therapy
techniques to enhance the lives of the profoundly
Ty Cerdd is a one-stop music service, embracing
research, education and performance. Ty Cerdd has
a walk-in music information centre and a fully
equipped recording studio within the Centre. Ty
Cerdd also includes The composers of Wales.
The Urdd is Waless largest youth organisation
providing the young people of Wales with the
opportunity of socialising through the medium of
Welsh. The Urdd operates four residential centres
across Wales offering a range of outdoor and
cultural pursuits as well as organising Europes
largest youth festival Eisteddfod yr Urdd in
May-June each year. At WMC, the Urdd has
dormitory facilities for 150 young people at the
Centre, which welcomes over 10,000 children a
year to the capital city for a cultural
experience and an unique opportunity to live
within a performing arts centre and experience
all the magic of the theatre.
In addition to the companies own work, each
company also contributes to all aspects of the
Centres life and vibrancy.
artsExplorer Public Programmes
  • A free interactive gallery
  • artsExplorer is a hands on interactive exhibition
    which aims to inspire visitors to explore the
  • Visitors can
  • Try their hands at stage management, finding out
    if their stage hands and fly operatives are up to
    the task!
  • Explore the many different ways of lighting the
    stage and performers by explaining the different
    effects of spotlights or footlights
  • Find out about some of the superstitions
    associated with the stage and theatre
  • Create your own inscription using tactile words
  • Catch a glimpse of the first entries from the
    Encyclopaedia of Wales in digital format 
  • Access a wealth of Welsh musical talent at the Ty
    Cerdd Listening Booths and much more!

A daily programme of free events and performances
  • Drop into the foyer of Wales Millennium Centre
    for a range of informal performances. Most days
    at lunchtime and early evening you can catch
    music ranging from jazz, traditional, classical,
    world, choirs, brass and much more through to
    readings and performance literature - entirely
    free of charge. Join us for either a full
    performance or drop in and sample whats going on
    whilst enjoying lunch or a snack.
  • Most of the lunchtime performances start at 1pm,
    though occasionally they may start earlier if
    there is a matinee performance at the Centre on
    that day. There are also afternoon, early evening
    and occasional evening performances too.
  • WMC holds summer activity workshops for children
    of all ages. Activities include singing, dancing,
    drama and storytelling and children can either
    take part in activity days or hour long workshop.

Exhibitions/Visual Art Space
Overlooking the main public area of the Glanfa
are two levels for visual art exhibitions.
 Visitors are welcome to view the exhibitions at
any time that the building is open. The programme
of changing exhibitions concentrates on the work
of contemporary Welsh and Wales-based artists.
The Building
  • Instantly recognisable, the award winning Wales
    Millennium Centre building has become a national
    icon both in terms of culture and architecture.
  • The striking design of the building combines
    modern design with the innovative use of
    locally-sourced materials. Throughout the
    building, there are details inspired by the Welsh
    landscape and its rich industrial and cultural

These diverse features combine with its dramatic
coastal position make WMC not only a striking
architectural spectacle, but also unmistakably
Welsh. It strikes a national chord and
communicates volumes about Wales to the thousands
of domestic and international visitors who visit
the Centre.
Located in the heart of Cardiff Bay, once one of
the UKs leading industrial parts, the building
makes reference to the materials that once formed
the backbone of Waless industrial economy.
Locally-sourced materials Slate - The
inspiration for the slate walls came from the
cliffs of Ogmore and Southerndown. The slate was
sourced from the slate waste tips of North Wales
quarries. Steel - The stainless steel for the
roof dome was treated near Pontypool and an
oxidised coating applied to support the aging of
the material in the maritime climate of Cardiff
Bay. Glass - Sandwiched between the strata of
stonework are thick blocks of glass layers which
appear like quarts fissures in the slate walls.
This award winning glass structure was developed
specifically for WMC by the renowned Swansea
Institute Architectural Glass department. Wood
- The sweeping curves of the balconies,
constructed in a mixture of beautiful Welsh
hardwoods (from renewable sources in mid-Wales)
were chosen for their colour, texture and their
natural warmth.
The Inscription
  • Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Centres
    design is the inscription that forms the letter
    windows at the front of the building.
  • The beautiful piece of poetry chosen for the
    letter inscription was composed by leading Welsh
    poet and writer Gwyneth Lewis. In 2005, Gwyneth
    was made the first Poet Laureate of Wales.
    Designed to reflect the cultural ambition of the
    Centre, the words draw both on Wales's industrial
    past and the building's location in Cardiff Bay,
    once one of the greatest industrial ports of the
  • (Creating truth like glass from inspirations
  • Welsh-language inscription
  • Gwyneth Lewis says "The copper dome of the
    building reminded me of the furnaces of Wales's
    industrial heritage. I wanted to link that to
    medieval Welsh tradition, and Ceridwen's
    cauldron, from which the poet Taliesin received
    his inspiration. "Awen" suggests both poetic
    inspiration and the general creative vision by
    which people and societies form their
  • English-language inscription
  • "It was important to me that the English words on
    the building should not simply be a translation
    of the Welsh, that they should have their own
    message. The strata of the slate frontage of the
    WMC reminded me of the horizons just beyond
    Penarth Head. The sea has, traditionally, been
    for Cardiff the means by which the Welsh export
    their best to the world and the route by which
    the world comes to Cardiff. The stones inside the
    building literally sing now that the building is
    open, and I wanted to convey the sense of
    international space created by the art of music.

Wales is appointing its first poet laureate,
Gwyneth Lewis, described as "the country's
best-known poet since RS Thomas". Lewis's claim
to fame is that she composed the words on the
front of the Wales Millennium Centre "In these
stones, horizons sing." Great stuff. The Sunday
WMC offers more than an arts experience
  • In addition to being an arts venue, WMC offers a
    range of bars and restaurants to enjoy either
    before, during or after the performance, or at
    any time of the day or night.

Brazz a chic and cosmopolitan watering hole, it
is the place to be seen Crema - a contemporary
coffee shop Fizz - this exclusive champagne and
wine bar with balcony views over Cardiff Bay
Hufen - an ice cream parlour and
patisserie One - bistro food and drink Awen,
Horizons and Stones - foyer bars on levels 2, 4
and 5 Portmeirion - a gift shop that sells
unusual and Welsh gifts as well as WMC
Awen foyer bar
From a pre show dinner at Brazz to a coffee with
friends at Crema or a delicious sundae at Hufen
there is somewhere to suit everyones taste and
The style design is mirrored by the fashionable
clientele, many of whom probably have no idea
whats on in the nearby auditorium for them,
Brazz is a good night out full-stop. The Guardian
Key People
Sir David Rowe-Beddoe DL Chairman, Wales
Millennium Centre Sir David is an international
businessman with a considerable track record of
public service and work for the arts. Judith
Isherwood Chief Executive, Wales Millennium
Centre Previously Director of Performing Arts
and acting Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera
House. Fiona Allan, Programmes Marketing
Director Ruth Garnault, Public Programmes
Director Brian Loudon, Venue Operations Director
David Pearce, Customer Experience Director
Richard Tynen, Development Director
The Building Project
Roger Spence Project Director, WMC (clients
representative during construction) Sir Robert
McAlpine Ltd Contractor (Construction) Capita
Percy Thomas Jonathan Adams, Project Architect.
Rob Firman, Project Director
Arup Acoustics Acousticians Arup Structural
and Services Engineer Carr Angier Theatre
Consultants Clarus Consulting Project and
Cost Managers
Press office contacts
  • For further press and media information, please
  • Esther Eckley
  • WMC Media Relations Manager
  • 44 (0)29 2063 6428
  • Nia Jones
  • WMC Media Relations Officer
  • 44 (0)29 2063 6403

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