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Classical music

Bryn Terfel, Welsh opera singer

Wales has a rich classical music scene. From opera to orchestra we have world class companies, performers and competitions.

The Wales Millennium Centre is a state of the art performing arts centre in Cardiff Bay. It hosts many operas annually and is home to both the Welsh National Opera (WNO) and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.


Founded in 1943, the Welsh National Opera (WNO) provides fantastic performances for Wales’ many opera fans, as well as entertaining UK and international audiences. The multi- award winning company regularly tours around the world and is used to receiving critical acclaim. The WNO's home in Wales is the Wales Millennium Centre.

Wales has produced some of the world’s best opera stars and continues to do so. Dame Gwyneth Jones, Geraint Evans, Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins and Rebecca Evans are just some of the Welsh voices which have thrilled audiences in opera houses throughout the world. Other famous classical voices include Charlotte Church, Ivor Novello and Aled Jones.

The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition held biennially in Cardiff is known throughout the classical world as the premier showcase for opera and concert singers at the start of their careers.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) is a professional symphony orchestra. It has received international acclaim and regularly tours around the world, as well as being in demand at major UK festivals. Since 2009 it has been based at the Hoddinott Hall in the Wales Millennium Centre.

National Youth Orchestra of Wales

Founded in 1945, The National Youth Orchestra of Wales (NYOW) was the first national youth orchestra in the world. It provides an opportunity for young musicians aged 13 to 21 to perform.

As a youth Welsh composer Karl Jenkins played oboe in the orchestra. He is now a prominent contemporary composer whose music is performed worldwide. His best-known pieces are Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary and The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama is proud to be the UK’s first all-Steinway Conservatoire. The College’s world-class performance and rehearsal spaces are the ideal venue for both young talent and established artists.