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Superstars at the double; Tow more big names head for faenol.

Byline: By ED JAMES

A RISING opera star and a world-class soprano were last night added to the stunning line-up for this year's Faenol Festival.

Rolando Villazun - hailed as the next tenor superstar - and internationally acclaimed soprano Angela Gheorghiu will appear at the August festival.

They join Welsh diva Shirley Bassey and chart-toppers West-life for the annual extravaganza staged on the outskirts of Bangor.

Tickets are selling faster than ever with almost 25% snapped up since we exclusively announced the line-up on March 4.

Opera arrives on the Faenol stage on August 26 with Bryn Terfel once again leading an evening of classical masterpieces.

Bryn said: "I feel honoured that, yet again, some of the world's best - and busiest - artistes have agreed to perform at Faenol.

"I had a wonderful time performing with Angela Gheorghiu in Faust at Covent Garden last year. And I'll be working with her again in Tosca - again at the Royal Opera House - in June.

"She is a beautiful singer and an electrifying performer and is sure to cast a spell on the audience.

"The Faenol will provide the first opportunity for Rolando and I to share a stage. He's a magnificent singer. In years to come, I guarantee you'll be proud to say you saw him here first!"

Mexican-born Villazun, fresh from debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Covent Garden, has been hailed the new "tenor superstar" and the "next Domingo".

His second solo recording won the Gramophone 2005 recital award, and his newly-released recording of arias by artists including Puccini, Verdi and Tchaikovsky is receiving great reviews.

Currently performing the role of Lensky in Covent Garden's production of Eugene Onegin to great acclaim, he is tipped to be one of the great tenors of the century.

Angela Gheorghiu is one of the world's leading sopranos and made her international debut in 1992.

Since then her stunning voice and inspiring performances have made her a favourite of opera audiences worldwide.

She won acclaim for her recordings of La Traviata and La BohAme and her latest CD of Puccini arias, was released earlier this year.

Opening this year's festival on Friday, August 25 will be superstar Irish band Westlife.

Shirley Bassey will dazzle the festival audience two days later.

The cream of Welsh popular music will return on Monday, August 28, and more information on the line up for Ten y Ddraig /Dragon's Fire will be released in the coming months.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2006
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