One World, Many Faiths series launched 15 May 2014

oneworld1140_0_0Living in Cardiff, I usually have to travel several hours into England to attend the big events on faith and religion. This time however, a few of the big events are coming to Wales – which is one reason why I’m excited about the One World Many Faiths series launched by the Welsh National Opera (WNO) and Maimonides Interfaith Foundation.

The One World Many Faiths series features more than a few familiar names, including Professor Mona Siddiqui from the University of Edinburgh, editor of the New Humanist Daniel Trilling, and the eminent Karen Armstrong.

The talks will take place in Cardiff, Hay-on-Wye, Birmingham and London and will run alongside Welsh National Opera’s Summer Season of operas which fall under the theme of Faith, including new productions of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Verdi’s Nabucco.

The One World Many Faiths events are designed to accompany and compliment the operas. Having never attended an opera in my life, I’m looking forwarding to attending both productions. I would hope the events work to also make the operas accessible to others.

The series will open with How do you communicate the divine?, a discussion around the timeless central theme of Moses und Aron – the inadequacy of language when communicating the absolutely spiritual. The event will be chaired by Mona Siddiqui OBE, Commentator and Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh with a panel that will include WNO’s Artistic Director David Pountney.  This event will take place on Friday 23 May at both the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts and at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

A series of further events will be held across the country before closing with a discussion on Why the world needs compassion now with Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and author Karen Armstrong.

For those interested in attending the events, links for the series can be found below: –

One World Many Faiths series of events: –

Friday 23 May, 8:00pm-9:30pm at Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff
How do you communicate the divine?
Chair: Mona Siddiqui OBE, Commentator and Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh
Panel: David Pountney, WNO Chief Executive and Artistic Director
This talk will also take place at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts on Friday 23 May at 3:45pm-5:00pm

Monday 2 June, 7:30pm-8:45pm at Clore Studio, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Is there room in Britishness for cultural difference?
Chair: Abdul Rehman Malik, Journalist and Programme Director of the Radical Middle Way
Panel: Julie Siddiqi, from the Islamic Society of Britain
Dave Rich, Deputy Director of Communications at the Community Security Trust
Daniel Trilling, Editor of the New Humanist magazine
This talk is in partnership with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Tuesday 17 June, 7:30pm-10:00pm at The Drum, Birmingham
I AM ME – LIVE
This is a real-time multi-media event that will entertain, inspire and educate – as well as encourage debate – on the influences that shape the identity of young people in multicultural, multi-faith and multi-ethnic Britain as it is today
Host: Internationally renowned British Asian reggae artist, DJ and TV presenter, Apache Indian
Performers: TaZzZ and Raxstar (featuring Rita Morar, Immi and Priti Menon) and Dr Zeus, alongside DJ Doni Brasco; Khiza and Soni-J; Sheena; PBN and Bambi; and music legend Shin from DCS.

Tuesday 1 July, 7:30pm-8:45pm at Clore Studio, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Why the world needs compassion now
Panel: Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO
Karen Armstrong FRSL, Author and internationally renowned scholar on comparative religions, and founder of the Charter for Compassion
This talk is in partnership with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Tickets for the One World Many Faiths series can be booked here:

More information on WNO’s summer season and the operas are available at www.wno.org.uk/faith

About Laura Jones

Laura researches and writes on religion and Muslims in the UK. She recently completed a Masters in Islam in Contemporary Britain, has previously worked as a Muslim chaplain, and is contributing editor for On Religion. She has a particular interest in inter-faith relations, mental health and Muslims in the public sphere.