Stephen Fry in new Welsh National Opera production

The well-loved actor and TV personality will be lending his voice to a new WNO Youth Opera production of Britten's Paul Bunyan, playing the title role.

stephen fry wno opera paul bunyan

Stephen Fry is adding his name to the esteemed list of performers to tread the boards at Welsh National Opera, playing the lumberjack Paul Bunyan in a new youth production of Britten's opera. The performance, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Britten's birth, will also feature Only Boys Aloud singing in the chorus.

It's not Fry's first foray into the world of opera. As well as being a huge fan of Richard Wagner, he's previously played another spoken role, Major-Domo, in a recording of Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss, and provided the translation for Kenneth Branagh's film, The Magic Flute, celebrating Mozart's 250th anniversary.

"As a lifelong opera lover I’m thrilled to be part of Youth Opera’s new production of Paul Bunyan," he said. "Harnessing the energy and passion of this young company is an extremely appropriate way to celebrate Benjamin Britten’s centenary year, and I hope that the young singers, musicians and technical students will spread their enthusiasm for this fantastic art-form to their friends and families."

As the part is an off stage spoken role, Fry has pre-recorded the voice part and will be incorporated into the production using a voice-over and visual projection. The performances will take place on 23 and 24 August at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Stephen Fry on Wagner at Glyndebourne

WNO