Thursday, 9 July 2009

Price: Over-patriotic or playing to the Plaid pack

Here we go again! The Welsh MP for Welsh Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, in Welsh Carmarthenshire, in Welsh Wales - Adam Price -demonstrates that this alone will not be his only poor lack of judgement during his time as an MP.


Just what is it with Price and the Welsh identity?

Mr Price's latest outburst is against the Welsh National Opera company, which has an international reputation built up from years of consistent high achievement in its productions. But why does he attempt to hit yet another high note when it comes down to deciding what's good for Wales and what isn't?

Mr Price doesn't seem to be suitably impressed with its reputation for excellence, high artistic standards (considering the funding), or even the use of superb professional home-grown Welsh talent in Dennis O'Neill, Eric Roberts, Rebecca Evans, Laura Parfitt, Wynne Evans, and Bryn Terfel, to name but a few. He prefers to criticise the Welsh National Opera company for not producing enough Welsh opera. Just where does this small minded obsession come from? Mr Price claims to be a music lover but his actions show that he only wishes to see his type of real Welshness and Welsh identity in most aspects of Welsh life.

Now I'm definately not anti-Welsh, especially as I have roots in these parts ever since coal was merely plant remains (not as much as some though), but even I can fully understand that the Welsh National Opera is a world renown opera company because of its wide repertoire of international works, perfect casting and amazing production crew - both the Welsh and the non-Welsh variety.

Broaden your horizon Mr Price. Just as you saw fit to step outside Wales in your youth and continue to do so as an MP, transform this into your constricting view on the Welsh identity. If you do happen to feel the need to spew out your authority on the Welsh identity and Welshness, use your Welsh-built website in order to nitpick at what's truly Welsh and what isn't (surely a possible name of a future pamphlet of his), and stop filling up the newspapers with stories that knock Wales' achievements. Join national debates that your constituents and the general public are talking about, rather than trying to make up your own.

Wales doesn't stand out on the world stage in many walks of life. Cherish those areas where we do.
Welsh National Opera needs to do much more to prove its Welsh credentials, according to an MP.

Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price says despite the company’s strong reputation for artistic excellence, it doesn’t do nearly enough to encourage Welsh composers.

Mr Price, a music enthusiast who represents Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, said: “To what extent is WNO representative of Wales and Welsh culture? In the whole of its existence, it has not had a musical director who was Welsh.

“I am not so parochial as to suggest that its musical director should always be Welsh – like the coach of the Welsh rugby team you expect to see people from outside Wales doing the job – but as a nation we are not exactly renowned for our lack of musical ability.

“You would think that at some stage in the last half century a Welsh musical director would have had a look in now and then.”

Pointing out that WNO was the only body that received funding from both the Arts Council of Wales and Arts Council England, Mr Price said: “That explains why it spends so much of its time touring England, which is fair enough. But perhaps it would be more accurately called the English and Welsh National Opera, which happens to have its home in Cardiff. One of the problems is that it has been many years since it commissioned an original opera from a Welsh composer. In the Seventies, it commissioned an opera from Alun Hoddinott, arguably the greatest Welsh composer of the 20th century. But although it has since commissioned the occasional choral piece, it is a long time since there was a major commission of a new opera from a Welsh composer.”

In 2004 Hoddinott, who died last year at the age of 78, told the Western Mail: “Their [WNO] performance standards are first class and technically they are excellent. But I wish they would pay more attention to Welsh music.

“Their record in the production of Welsh opera is abysmal. Scottish Opera puts on a couple of works by Scottish composers every year.

“WNO has put on perhaps four or five Welsh operas over 20 years. And the record of the WNO’s orchestra as far as Welsh music is concerned is also bad. I have not seen one work by a Welsh composer in any of its concert programmes. Full stop.

“They just seem to have an anti-Welsh music bias. I am sad that they do not do something for Welsh composers, especially young ones.”

Mr Price said: “It seems clear that for commercial reasons the company chooses to concentrate on performing productions of well-known operas. Is that what we want from our national opera company? Some would say yes, but others, myself included, would like to see more original work commissioned from Welsh composers. Otherwise, doubts will continue about whether we are getting our bang for the buck put into WNO from public funds in Wales.”

WNO chief executive and artistic director John Fisher said: “Welsh National Opera prides itself on being not only a world-class flagship for Wales and Welsh culture, but also one of the world’s major international opera companies. We work with outstanding Welsh creative talent every day of the week, in Wales, England and overseas – and we’re proud to do it.”

WNO was founded in Cardiff in 1946. Annually, it gives more than 120 performances of eight main scale operas. In Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Llandudno, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Southampton and Swansea, it regularly performs to more than 150,000 people in total.

In 2004, WNO acquired its first permanent home with the opening of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

WNO boasts it is Europe’s busiest touring opera company and the largest provider of touring opera in the UK.

The company’s most recent published accounts, covering the 17 months to September 2007, show it had an income of £20.1m, of which £8.7m came from Arts Council England, £6.3m from Arts Council of Wales and the remainder from box office receipts and other sources.

28 comments:

J Davies 9 July 2009 at 08:18  

The trouble is he makes Plaid Cymru appear to be narrow minded when in this mode and us Welsh end up looking tribal.

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 08:25  

Adam is a talented politician but I don't like the way he makes the Welsh small minded when it comes to our identity.

I'm glad that these stories don't tend to be picked up by the main UK press.

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 09:00  

Hard to believe that two former lawyers who are now MPs actually thought that they could impeach Blair over Iraq. What a waste of public money to carry out their experiment.

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 10:14  

Good points Mr Price....and well made.

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 10:25  

Of course, you would like the Welsh rugby and football teams to be amalgamated with the English ones woulnd't you Miss Wagstaff....! And call Wales.....England.....Why don't you move into the 20th century you idiot. Did you enjoy singing GSTQ yesterday in Cariff, England? Bet it brought a tear to your jaundiced eye.....

Miss Wagstaff 9 July 2009 at 19:20  

I see that Anon 10:25 has completely missed my point, but is spot on when it comes to narrow mindedness.

P.S. We're now in the 21st century ;>)

Scott 9 July 2009 at 22:54  

Typical of the Nationalists Miss Wagstaff. They ignore the argument or basis of the argument and try and make the other side appear anti Welsh.

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 23:13  

He does have a tendency to do things like this... not so long ago he called for the British Lions to be scrapped and it took Welsh legend Gareth Edwards to intervene and tell him what a stupid idea it was.

He likes to give the impression he's in touch with modern Welsh opinion and sometimes this leaves him looking stupid. People in Wales love the WNO just as they love the British Lions... I know these things may not fit in with Adam's political outlook, but thats just the way it is.

Wales isn't defined by Adam Price.

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 23:17  

Didn't he also suggest that the England & Wales Cricket Board be split?

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 23:19  

I'm a Plaid supporter and I get frustrated at Adam Price some of the time!!

London lover needs to cwtch Cardiff 9 July 2009 at 23:20  

It's a pity that he's not an AM. Adam Price as an AM would stir things up a bit in the Assembly. He'd be a big fish in a small pond for the first time in his life and would relish the opportunity.

Plaid need him 9 July 2009 at 23:22  

He's a brilliant Welsh politician that is much needed in Cardiff. I just wish that he would stop making the Welsh look anti-everything.

Anonymous 9 July 2009 at 23:44  

"It's a pity that he's not an AM"

He'll wait until after the referendum. Is that classed as gossip?

Barney Rebel 10 July 2009 at 03:30  

Plaid need him said...

He's a brilliant Welsh politician that is much needed in Cardiff. I just wish that he would stop making the Welsh look anti-everything.




Making the Welsh look anti-everything is hardly the action of "a brilliant Welsh politician".

The boy's a plonker and we all know it.

Anonymous 10 July 2009 at 10:29  

In case you knob-heads didn't know.....because none of you picked up on it....The Lions aren't British any more....And regarding Gareth Edwards, I'd stick to rugby if I was him.

Anonymous 10 July 2009 at 10:30  

The Price is Right!!!!

Anonymous 10 July 2009 at 10:33  

I think we should have a England and Wales rugby Union. And the team could be called.....England. Good idea? Will bring a tear to many a jaundiced eye.....

Swing low....Sweet Chaaariot.....

Gareth's parrot 10 July 2009 at 21:10  

"I think we should have a England and Wales rugby Union. And the team could be called.....England."

You might have somethere there as we've been poaching each others players for years. Would save the hassle.

Anonymous 10 July 2009 at 21:15  

The fact that Adam Price called for the scrapping of the British & Irish Lions in the first place makes it a big joke. This does make you wonder why he is so off message sometimes...

Doesn't make his a brilliant Welsh politician. He was also bay-side today.

Anonymous 12 July 2009 at 13:57  

His time would be better spent promoting Wales, and its culture, instead of grandstanding.He has a really bad habit of starting causes which seem more to do with Adam Price than Wales!

Anonymous 12 July 2009 at 20:17  

I must admit I know very little about opera, but I'm curious to know.

Is there an English National Opera?

If so would any English MP object if it had never had a single English Chief Executive in its entire history?

If an English MP did complain under these circumstances, would you be condeming them as 'anti-everything'?

Anonymous 12 July 2009 at 22:55  

Anonymous 20:17 would have to be aware of Adam Price's history before fully understanding that one.

Anonymous 13 July 2009 at 09:26  

Have you got permission for that photo. I think it is copyrighted to Adam Price's website.

Cardiff camera 13 July 2009 at 17:05  

Assuming that:

a) the photo wasn't taken by Pippa.
b) Pippa hasn't already obtained permission.
c) the photograph was taken from Adam's website in the first place.

Adam could always ask for it to be taken down. I'm sure that Pippa would oblige.

Anonymous 14 July 2009 at 03:39  

Ahhh so what your saying essentially is that this photo is used and abusing copyright. It has illegally been obtained and should not have been used. I will email adam prices office who will no doubt take it up with the Tory party centrally.

Anonymous 14 July 2009 at 09:21  

Wagstaff must be quivering and wetting herself.

Anonymous 16 July 2009 at 10:14  

You actually think that it is poor judgement for plaid to have opposed the iraq war? Didnt have you down as a war apologist pippa

Rhywyn heblaw PC 22 July 2009 at 17:01  

What I find disgraceful is that the two Plaid MP`s who thought it would be possible to impeach Blair had the cheek to charge the taxpayers for the cost ie the opinions of very expensive barristers .

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