AN OPERATIC show based on the work of Anton Chekhov will visit a Cwmbran venue in December bringing laughter and drama in equal measure.

The one-act show by Mid Wales Opera (MWO) will bring 'The Bear' to the Cwmbran Congress Theatre on December 1 in conjunction with their ‘Small stages Tour’.

Composed in 1967 and based on Anton Chekhov’s play of the same name, the play follows widow, Mme Popova unendingly mourning the death of her husband.

That is, until the arrival of the rough-hewn yet charismatic land agent, Smirnov (the “bear” of the title) demanding payment of debts.

Passions run high and their sparring culminates in a duel – and an unexpected romance.

William Walton’s hilarious comedy is brought to laughter-filled life on stage by three professional singers and five marvellous musicians in a new arrangement of Walton’s score for just five players.

The production has been specially designed for the ‘SmallStages’ tour and the performance at the Congress Theatre is the last show for which tickets are still available.

MWO’s artist director, Richard Studer, said: “What is exciting about this project is working with community venues to present professional opera in areas under represented by the traditional touring model at an accessible price (typically under £10.

“But also to give an opportunity for performers and audience to engage directly with each other in informal settings celebrating some the great and sometimes neglected 20th century comic repertoire.”

Full of entertainment, comedy, parody and great tunes, this intimate new production of 'The Bear' is a brilliant introduction for audiences new to opera.

The performance starts at 7.30pm will be sung in English. Tickets are priced at £10.

For bookings, call The Congress Theatre on 01633 868239 or visit