Classical festival celebrates best of local talent.
Byline: IOLO GRIFFITHS firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME of Wales' best young singers will headline this year's Conwy Classical Music Festival. Elgan Llyr Thomas and Michaela Parry, who are both from the Llandudno area, with friends Meinir Wyn and Meilir Jones, will present a Night at the Opera during the week long event which runs from July 23-29. Between them, the four have notched up appearances at many prestigious venues including Glyndebourne.
Their concert on Thursday, July 27 at 7.30pm will feature arias, duets and ensembles from operas and musicals by composers ranging from Mozart and Verdi to Bernstein and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
The festival, now in its 13th year, is one of the largest music events in Wales not to charge for admission, relying only on audience donations and sponsorship. Its work in promoting local talent and in developing the cultural life of North Wales has won it the praise of celebrities in the music world such as Bryn Terfel. Yet it remains a community event, organised by people from the Conwy area.
This year's programme also features six other young singers from the area. Erin Gwyn (soprano), Eleias Roberts (tenor) and Rhodri Brookes (baritone) will perform in the Monday lunchtime slot on July 24, whilst Charlotte Forfar (soprano), Eiry Price (mezzo) and John Ieuan Jones (baritone) will fill a similar slot on Saturday, July 29.
Chris Roberts, who directs the festival said: "All six are currently studying music and are hoping to build a career in the future. Who knows, the voices on stage in Conwy this year may be the voices to listen out for in the years to come!" Singers aren't the only young people performing at the festival. Local pianist, 16 year old Ellis Thomas will take to the stage on Monday July 24 with a programme of works bv Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Chopin and Prokofiev.
Promising to be a major highlight will be the concert by the Festival Orchestra at 8pm on Monday, July 24, performing under the direction of Paul Barritt, permanent guest Leader of the Halle Orchestra.
Other highlights of the week include a concert and choral workshop by the London-based early music specialists, The Marian Consort, a specially themed children's concert by percussionist Dewi Ellis-Jones, and a finale with the Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir, Dyffryn Conwy Youth Choir, harpist Dafydd Huw and soloists Sian Wyn Gibson and John Eifion.
Concerts take place in the historic St Mary's church in the centre of Conwy as well as other venues around town.
The Conwy Classical Music Festival begins on Sunday July 23 with choral evensong, and runs for a week.
For more information log on to http://www.conwyclassicalmusic.co.uk, where you can download the festival's programme, or contact Chris Roberts on 01492 592166.