Skip to main content



This event has passed.
WNO CL1474 A22 PLYMOUTH Web Image_Webpage Header_Migrations


We love to spread our wings but what are the consequences?

The desire to broaden our horizons is a natural one, but for many, it is a necessity to improve on circumstances. However, the result of doing so often has unintended consequences.

Through a series of parallel storylines, Welsh National Opera’s new opera explores the highs and lows of migration: from the migration of birds to the sailing of The Mayflower over 400 years ago; from the story of an Afro-Caribbean slave in Bristol to the experience of Indian doctors working in the NHS.

The versatility of the music, composed by British composer Will Todd (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), is unlike anything ever performed at WNO, and adapts to the setting and mood of each narrative, written by six writers from diverse backgrounds. An expanded WNO Orchestra is joined by a cast of 100 performers, including WNO Chorus, a gospel choir, Bollywood dancers and a children’s chorus.

This is an epic drama on a huge scale, an unmissable live experience.

Sung in English, with surtitles in English

Important information

Run time: Approximately two hours and 20 minutes with one interval

Contains themes of racism and language that some people may find upsetting


Through a series of six parallel storylines, Welsh National Opera’s new opera explores the highs and lows of migration.

Written by Sir David Pountney
The story of the group of settlers who sailed to America on the Mayflower 400 years ago, seeking freedom from religious persecution in Britain.

Treaty 6
Written by Sarah Woods
The story of a community fighting to save the land they are stewards of from environmental devastation and their reaction to the experience of inward migration, displacement and colonisation by British migrants.

Flight, Death or Fog
Written by Edson Burton & Miles Chambers
House slave v field slave. Was one more privileged than the other? The story of Pero, an Afro-Caribbean slave in the ownership of a wealthy merchant family in 18th Century Bristol.

Written by Eric Ngalle Charles
To birds migration is a way of life. Movement from east to west and back occurs naturally, they cross lands, cross mountains for feeding grounds and return to their natural abode when the time is right.

The English Lesson
Written by Sarah Woods
A group of refugees and asylum seekers gather to learn English in the country they have recently arrived in. But while the questions they learn to ask and answer seem simple they reveal a more difficult reality.

This is the Life!
Written by Shreya Sen-Handley
A humorous look at the experience of Indian doctors in the NHS. In 1968, two young practitioners, invited by the British Government to build the new National Health Service, find themselves reviled and rejected, despite the assurances given of the “good life” awaiting them