Best of Welsh Opera & Classical

Welsh Opera & Classical – The Best of 2021

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas nearing and 2021 drawing to a close, we take a look back at some of the best art and cultural offerings to come out of Wales this year. Today, we’re taking a classical turn with a look at the best of Welsh Opera and classical concerts in 2021.

From YouTube live streams to epic returns to the stage, 2021 has proven – once again – that Welsh opera and classical music is far from beat with resilience and innovation rising up in the face of the second year of a global pandemic. From Welsh companies touring around the UK to new visions of old classics, there has been much to enjoy on the classical scene. With the help of Wales Arts Review’s resident experts and writers, we are proud to present our list of the best welsh opera and classical productions to come out in 2021. 

Our number one will be announced later in December.

Il tabarro  (theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon)

Madam Butterfly  (Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff)

Il tabarro – Puccini Preview (Mid Wales Opera on tour)

Falstaff (Grange Park Opera, Surrey)

Y Tŵr | Welsh Opera on YouTube (Theatr Gen Eto programme)


Winterreise | Ian Bostridge & Antonio Pappano (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)

Franz Schmidt | Symphony No. 1 in E major | BBC NOW (BBC National Orchestra of Wales)

Schubert | Llŷr Williams at the Wigmore Hall (recorded Wigmore Hall performance)

The Barber of Seville (Welsh National Opera, Southampton)



Wales Arts Review works to bring our readers the best critical writing from Wales, and the best critical writing about Wales. It is a place where passionate and informed arts critics, from Wales and beyond, can find expression. Our writers are neither drum-beaters nor axe-grinders but simply knowledgeable and dedicated people who care deeply about culture and society.

Founded in March 2012, Wales Arts Review is a media platform where a new generation of critics and arts lovers can meet to engage in a robust and inclusive discussion about books, theatre, film, music, the visual arts, politics, and the media.

Wales Arts Review commissions and publishes content in the English language, yet it proudly acknowledges that Wales is a bilingual nation with a richly diverse bilingual culture. We therefore do not restrict our focus to arts and literature delivered only in the medium of English. We have published reviews and articles examining works by Welsh language artists and companies; from the work of Theatre Genedlaethol Cymru to TV hit crime-thriller Y Gwyll. We have also covered the National Eisteddfod and were proud to announce that the winner of our 2014 ‘Greatest Welsh Novel’ prize was Caradog Prichard’s Un Nos Ola LeaudWales Arts Review looks forward to working with partner organisations on future projects that critically evaluate and celebrate all the languages of Wales.

We believe that a vibrant arts scene is the expression of a confident, healthy and creative society. We further assert that a flourishing and vigorous critical culture is vital to its sustenance and development. As such, we regard Wales Arts Review as an important building-block in the new outward-looking, forward-thinking Wales.