Directed by award-winning director Michael McCarthy (Artistic Director, Music Theatre Wales), Voices of Now celebrates scenes from contemporary opera written in English. Featuring our four talented Young Artist répétiteurs at the piano, the scenes will be conducted by NOS Head of Music, Mark Shanahan.

This programme will showcase 21st century operas, with scenes from works by John Adams, Judith Weir, George Benjamin, Philip Glass, Emma Ruth-Richards, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Stuart MacRae and Unsuk Chin, and hark back to one of contemporary opera’s pioneers with an extract from Michael Tippett’s King Priam.

On Friday 7 June at 6.15pm there will be a pre-performance talk with director Michael McCarthy as well as some of the composers and publishers behind the contemporary opera scenes. Discussing both the creative process behind the works and how this is translated onto the stage, this exclusive talk will be hosted by NOS Director of Artist Development, David Sulkin OBE.  Find out more


Michael McCarthy Director

Michael is Co-founder and Artistic Director of Music Theatre Wales, staging over 35 productions for the company, most recently Passion by Pascal Dusapin (UK premiere), Y Tŵr by Guto Puw (MTW commission), The Golden Dragon by Peter Eötvös (UK premiere) and The Trail by Philip Glass (an MTW commission with Royal Opera House) also staged for Opera Theatre St Louis, Theater Magdeburg and Scottish Opera.

Other productions include Richard the Lionheart by Telemann and Handel in Germany, large-scale outdoor stagings of Tosca, Nabucco and La Traviata in Norway, and Cosi fan Tutte, Il Re Pastore, Fidelio and Don Giovanni. Also, Cinderella for WNO and S4C Television, The Lighthouse for BBC2 TV and The Forbidden Hymn - a community opera in the South Wales Valleys.  

In January 2015 Michael was awarded Best Director at the Wales Arts Awards for his production of The Trial (Glass). His production of Greek (Turnage) won Outstanding Achievement in Opera at the TMA Awards, and his production of In The Locked Room by Huw Watkins was nominated for an Olivier as part of a double bill of new operas. He was honoured with an MBE at the end of 2015.

Alongside MTW, from 1998-2012 he was Artistic Director of the contemporary opera studio for Norway, 2007 – 2012 he was Dramaturg for FIVE:15 - Operas Made in Scotland for Scottish Opera. In 2012 he led the Opera Creation Academy at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.