Welsh National Opera receives donation from US billionaire family

A donation of £1.2m has been made to the Welsh National Opera by the Getty family, one of the richest families in America.

Welsh National Opera - La bohème

The Welsh National Opera have received a donation of £1.2m from the Getty family, one of America's richest. The money is to help fund a series of contemporary works over the next five years, including one work written by Gordon Getty - the son of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.

Other works planned for performance include the UK premiere of Wagner Dream by Jonathan Harvey and The Fall of the House of Usher by Robert Orledge (adapted from the unfinished score of Debussy's opera).

Orledge's work is inspired by the same Edgar Allen Poe novel as Gordon Getty's operatic work. WNO chairman Geraint Talfan Davies described the donation as "an extraordinary gift and an extraordinary opportunity for the company."

Divies added that he hoped the money would usher in "one of the most exciting periods in WNO's history… In the past we've broken new ground, and I hope we can do it again."

Other works to come as a result of the donation will include new versions of Peter Pan (by Richard Ayres, to be staged in 2015) and Alice In Wonderland (by Korean composer Unsuk Chin, to be staged in 2017).

Hear some waltz music from Gordon Getty