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Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Robert Lloyd PR, Media and Marketing Consultancy Blog posts Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star
Robert Lloyd

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Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir are enjoying their summer break, but they are also busy planning their next ‘away trips’.

The choir members have shelved rehearsals at Furnace Community Hall until September.

Choir chairman Tony Crossman said: “We are taking advantage of the short summer break to plan our autumn trips.”

On Saturday, September 22, the choir will travel to Brailes on the Warwickshire/Oxfordshire border.

“We have many friends in the picturesque village of Brailes and we make regular trips there for concerts. They are always well received and it’s always a treat to take our Welsh songbook into England!”

At the end of October and the start of November, the choristers will be embarking on a mini tour of the Isle of Wight.

Mr Crossman explained, “As a choir, we have travelled the world – the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and most of Europe.

“But this year we are going to stay closer to home and explore more of England.”

The choir will team up with Newchurch Male Voice Choir for a joint concert in Sandown and also perform in Ryde for the Rotary Clubs based on the Isle of Wight.

Mr Crossman added: “We may also add in a third concert date as we are expecting sell-out audiences in both places as we know there is great interest in Côr Meibion Llanelli’s visit.”

Closer to home, Carmarthen baritone Mark Llewelyn Evans will be hosting ‘An Afternoon of Music at The Orangery’ at Margam Park on Sunday, September 2.

The event will feature the young up-and-coming members of the Llanelli-based Loud Applause Rising Stars group.

Youngsters performing at the Orangery will include Callum Howells, Lauren Fisher, Neve Summers, Jack Owens, Sydney Richards, Thomas Bytheway, Daisy Owens and Osian Clarke.

The special guests will be violin virtuoso Charlie Lovell-Jones and the Kenfig Hill youth choir Crescendo.

The concert starts at 3pm.

Meanwhile, a brand new musical will premiere in Llanelli this month.

Age of the Geek is being staged at Llanelli’s Selwyn Samuel Centre from Thursday, August 9, to Saturday, August 11.

Age of the Geek is based on the book and lyrics by Elliot Alldridge, with music by Ryan Mellish.

The story goes like this –

Zack is an unpopular schoolboy, with braces, spots and asthma . . . but he’s also very dead!

Zack’s body was found in the park next to a suicide note, but things don’t add up.

Eli, an enthusiastic young journalist gets hold of the story and won’t let go until she finds the truth.

She goes undercover at the school where she meets Zack’s best friend Leo, a geek who lives at the bottom of the social food chain and someone who is struggling to survive without Zack.

Everyone is a suspect as Eli and Leo fight to find Zack’s murderer in Age of the Geek, a musical filled with laughter, emotion and mystery.

The tale follows the two heroes as they unravel the story of the untimely death of a teenage boy and find out which is more dangerous – hunting a killer or being a geek in school.

Tickets are £10 (£7 for students) and are available from www.ticketsource.co.ukor via the Selwyn Samuel Centre.

In September, at Ffwrnes Theatre, the famous Llanelli-based Academy Amateur Company will celebrate 35 years of performing great musicals.

They will be staging ‘Thank you for the Memories’ at Ffwrnes on Saturday, September 8.

This special celebratory concert will feature songs from their favourite productions over the years, promising a musical journey down memory lane that will leave you singing all the way home.

There will be songs from shows such as Singin’ In The Rain, Guys And Dolls, Anything Goes, The Full Monty and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Looking further ahead, to October, one of Carmarthenshire’s finest will be returning ‘home’ for two special concerts.

John Owen-Jones is a Burry Port boy who has gone on to be an award-winning West End and Broadway star.

He will play Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on Wednesday, October 3 and the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on Sunday, October 7.

John has played the lead role in The Phantom Of The Opera more than any other West End actor.

He was the youngest actor to ever play Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.

He will release his brand new album, called Spotlight, in the autumn.

John trained in acting at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and, after a varied career so far, is probably best known for his portrayals of the iconic leading characters in The Phantom of The Opera and Les Miserables.

He has a long and happy association with ‘Les Mis’ in particular, for, at the age of 26, John became the youngest actor ever to play the role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables.

He is one of a handful of actors to have played the role of Valjean both in the West End and on Broadway and was the first British actor to do so.

In an online poll, John was voted the “Best Ever Valjean” and “Best Ever Performer in Les Miserables” by fans of the show worldwide.

John returned to play the role of Jean Valjean in a brand new production of Les Miserables for its 25th anniversary tour and was awarded the Manchester Evening News Award for the Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his performance as Jean Valjean.

The Manchester Evening News described his performance as “a truly astonishing achievement that must be one of the greatest stage performances of all time.”

John was also part of the Valjean quartet featured in the finale of the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 Arena, London.

He has played Jean Valjean to great acclaim twice on Broadway and most recently appeared as Valjean in the show’s Middle East premiere at Dubai Opera, Dubai.

He can be heard playing Jean Valjean on the official cast recording, Les Miserables Live! (2010)

John originally played the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera between 2001 and 2004 in the West End production to great acclaim.

The Daily Mail said he was “better than all the actors that preceded him in the role”.

He returned to the role of The Phantom in the West End in 2011 culminating in a performance as part of the Phantom quartet in a special finale at the Phantom 25th Anniversary Concert at The Royal Albert Hall.

He is the West End’s longest running Phantom with nearly 2000 performances in the role.

He appeared in a special finale of the show at the Majestic Theatre, New York to celebrate Phantom’s 25th year on Broadway and is the first British actor to have appeared as The Phantom in Russia – in a special excerpt from the show commissioned for the 2014 Golden Masks Awards at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.

After reinterpreting the role of Valjean on the 25th Anniversary tour of Les Miserables in 2010, John was asked to reinterpret the role of The Phantom in the brand new production of The Phantom of the Opera for its 25th anniversary UK tour in 2012.

His performance on the tour earned him a nomination for Best Actor in a Visiting Production from the Manchester Theatre Awards and he is in the unique position of being the only actor to have the opportunity to reinvent Valjean and The Phantom – two of the greatest roles in musical theatre history.

John has performed extensively in other theatre productions throughout the UK and he has appeared on television and radio numerous times. He has performed as a soloist in concerts all over the world.

John has released six solo albums.

The independently released ‘Hallelujah’ (2006) and on the Sain Records label ‘John Owen-Jones’ (2009) and ‘Unmasked’ (2011) and ‘Rise’ 2015; and two compilation albums – “Bring Him Home” (2017 Sain records) and the Japan only compilation “Music of the Night” (2015 Sony Records Japan).

John’s very busy diary for 2018 also includes the following appearances –

August 29 – September 9, The Phantom in Ken Hill’s “The Phantom of the Opera”, Theatre Orb, Tokyo, Japan.

September 22-24, Concert, Yomiuri Otemachi Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

Monday, October 8, The Best Of The West End, Royal Albert Hall, London.

October 15-19, Floating Festivals: Stages, Navigator of the Seas, Amsterdam to Southampton.

In October, Carmarthen will also see another big name singer roll into town.

Russell Watson will be performing his new show, Canzoni d’Amore, at the Lyric on October 19.

Having sold more than seven million albums worldwide, Russell Watson is firmly established as the UK’s best-selling classical crossover artist of all time.

To date, his illustrious career has included performances for Her Majesty The Queen, The Pope and two US Presidents.

Russell is widely regarded as “The People’s Tenor”. Captivating to watch and enchanting to listen to, Russell Watson continues to wow audiences with his enigmatic and entertaining live performances.

The New York Times said of Russell Watson, “He sings like Pavarotti, and entertains the audience like Sinatra”.


Robert Lloyd works as a media consultant – www.rlloydpr.co.uk

If you have any news about the choral scene in Llanelli, the please contact him on 07777 683637 or email rlloydpr@btinternet.com

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