My Opera Experience
Yvette Vaughan Jones
The first woman to chair the WNO's board of directors, Yvette has a long career in the arts starting in commercial publishing and then moving to community arts. An experienced trainer and moderator, she is a regular guest teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
What was your first opera?
A wonderful production of the Love of Three Oranges [Prokofiev, 1921] at the Coliseum in London.
What was the last opera you saw and where?
Sicilian Vespers [Verdi, 1855] at the Wales Millennium Centre – utterly mesmerising!
What is your favourite opera and why?
I have favourite productions more than operas, although Così fan tutte [Women Are Like That, Mozart, 1790] is a particular favourite, along with Tosca [Puccini, 1900] and La bohème [The Bohemians, Puccini, 1896] – all the tuneful ones!
How did you get into opera?
By chance – going along with a friend and then when I was at university I would buy recordings and get to see very contemporary productions; Jonathan Miller was directing then.
What opera would you recommend to a newcomer and why?
It’s always good to recognise a tune, so I would first ask what arias they know and love, then I would go for a good director’s interpretation of the work. A good production can change how you view an opera.