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The latest ‘On Song’ column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

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

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The latest ‘On Song’ column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

There’s a special concert coming up in December to raise funds for Burry Port Lifeboat Station.

‘Christmas by Candlelight will feature Elin Manahan Thomas, Gary Griffiths and Osian Wyn Bowen.

It is being held at St Mary’s Church, Burry Port, on Saturday, December 22 (7pm).

Elin Manahan Thomas is one of the most exceptional sopranos of her generation.

Since releasing her début album ‘Eternal Light’ in 2007, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals, and with leading orchestras and conductors.

Perhaps most famously known for her performances of baroque masterpieces – such as Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine at the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony – Elin is equally at home performing classical and contemporary works.

Elin has performed across Europe at major venues and festivals, including: the Edinburgh, Canterbury, Three Choirs, Llangollen, Mostly Mozart and Lufthansa festivals, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Casa de Musica in Porto, Zurich Tonhalle, and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

In 2008 Elin gave the World Première of Sir John Tavener’s Requiem in Liverpool Cathedral (also recorded for EMI), and later premiered his Love Duet at the Manchester International Festival in 2013. Elin sang in the premiere of Karl Jenkin’s ‘Cantata Memoria’ in October 2016, written to commemorate the Aberfan disaster 50 years earlier; the piece was also released on Deutsche Gramophon records.

In May 2018 she was honoured to perform at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Orchestras she has worked with include the Halle, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic, Academy of Ancient Music, BBC NOW, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, City of London Sinfonia, the Malaysian Philharmonic, and Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra.  She has performed for many of the world’s leading conductors, among them Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Andrew Davis, Harry Christophers, Paul McCreesh, Stephen Layton, Sir Roger Norrington, Vasily Petrenko, Thierry Fischer and the late Richard Hickox. Equally comfortable performing contemporary music, Elin has been fortunate to work with Sir John Tavener, John Rutter, Sir Karl Jenkins, James Macmillan, Judith Weir and Eric Whitacre, among others.

Alongside concert performances, Elin is also known for her presenting work. She has been twice nominated for a BAFTA Cymru (Best Newcomer, Best Presenter) and has presented for BBC 4 (The Proms) and BBC 2 Wales (Proms in the Park). Elin regularly presents for Radio Cymru, and is presenter on Radio Three’s Early Music Late, on Sunday evenings.

Elin has released five solo albums, and appeared as featured soloist on innumerable discs, for labels such as Universal, Naxos, Chandos, Hyperion, Coro, Signum, Collegium and Sain. In 2012, her ‘Vivaldi’ recording with Florilegium was Radio 3’s CD of the Week; BBC Music Magazine awarded the disc five stars; while International Record Review placed it in their ‘Outstanding’ category. Her recordings range from the renaissance to Handel to Elgar and beyond, and 2016 sees the release of a CD of songs by Morfydd Llwyn Owen (previously unrecorded) for Ty Cerdd, and Karl Jenkins’ Cantata Aberfan for Deutsche Gramophon, alongside Bryn Terfel. In April 2016 she was Classic FM’s Artist of the Week. Due for release in Summer 2018 is an album of songs by Welsh composer/pianist Dilys Edwards, on the Ty Cerdd label, in celebration of Edwards’ birth centenary year.

In addition to her singing and presenting, Elin is a passionate advocate of music education, and is an ambassador for Sing Up. She has led choral workshops with Eric Whitacre, masterclasses at RWCMD, University of Oxford, children’s concerts with LPO and OAE, and children’s operas with Children’s Music Workshop. Elin is an Honorary Fellow at RWCMD, and at the Universities of Swansea and Bangor.

She is an Ambassador for leading Welsh jewellery brand Clogau.

Baritone Gary Griffiths is a Burry Port boy.

He made his Royal Opera House stage debut in 2017 singing the role of Solanio in Keith Warner’s WNO production of The Merchant of Venice. He also made his Teatro di San Carlo (Naples) debut in concert, singing Arthus in Le Rois Arthus.

Winner of the Welsh Singers Competition in 2012, Gary Griffiths was a finalist representing Wales in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where, in 2009, he won the prestigious Gold Medal Competition.

At the Welsh National Opera, where he began as an Associate Artist, he made a critically acclaimed debut in 2011 as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte). His other roles with the company include Marcello (La Bohème), Solanio (The Merchant of Venice, UK Premiere), Cecil (Maria Stuarda), Masetto (Don Giovanni), Claudio (Béatrice et Bénédict), and Schaunard in a new production of La Bohème (for which he was awarded the Wales Theatre Critics’ Award for Best Male Opera Singer).

He recently sang Marcello (La Bohème) for WNO at the Dubai Opera, Ford (Falstaff), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro) for the Wiesbaden State Opera, Marcello (La Bohème) for New Zealand Festival Opera, Maximillian (Candide) for Opera di Firenze at the Maggio Musicale, The Executioner (Ines de Castro) for Scottish Opera, Ned Keene (Peter Grimes) for Grange Park Opera, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) for New Zealand Festival Opera and Malatesta (Don Pasquale) for the Longborough Festival Opera.

Concert appearances include Berlioz ‘Les Troyens’ with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Symphony No.8 with the Philharmonia at Gloucester Cathedral, Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Nikolaj Znaider, Handel’s Messiah at the Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest, Fauré Requiem with John Wilson and the RTE Concert Orchestra, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Berliner Kantorei, Mozart’s Requiem with the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera and Christoph Poppen. Concert engagements this season include Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

A committed recitalist, appearances include the Oxford Lieder Festival with Joan Rodgers and Sholto Kynoch in a recital of Russian Song, the Cowbridge Music Festival with Joseph Middleton, King’s Place with Iain Burnside, the Ludlow English Song Weekend with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau.

In recording, he appears on Catrin Finch’s Lullabies CD for Deutsche Grammophon alongside Julian Lloyd Webber, a double album of Holst’s ‘At the Boars Head’ and Vaughan Williams ‘Riders to the Sea’ with the Warsaw Chamber Opera Sinfonietta for the Dux record label (nominated for Best Opera Album at the 2017 International Classical Music Awards). And soon to be released, is a recording of Mendelssohn Songs with Malcolm Martineau for Champs Hills Records.

Tickets for the Bury Port concert are £15 and are available from Cadno Travel or from the following phone numbers – 07795415411 and 07900893150.

Sunday, November 18 (7pm) sees a grand concert at Myddfai Community Hall near Llandovery.

The guest artistes include the celebrated tenors Rhys Meirion and Aled Wyn Davies, two of the popular Welsh Three Tenors.

Also on stage will be the Treble C Group. 

The compere will be Glyn Owen and the president for the evening will be Robyn Richards.

Tickets are £10 and available from Emlyn on 01550 720484.

Llanelli District Music and Drama Club have a special evening at the Lliedi Suite, Selwyn Samuel Centre on Friday, November 30 (7.30pm).

They will be presenting A Fine Romance, with Tony Jacobs and Catherine Sykes and Jim Barry at the piano.

The evening will feature music and songs by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

Tickets are £10 (students £5) and are available from Barrie Lewis, Market Precinct, Llanelli, phone 01554-772594 or at the door.

Crwbin Silver Band are getting ready for Christmas.

Their Christmas Concert will be at Pontyberem Hall on Friday, December 14 (7pm).

The concert will also feature Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth choir and wind band.

Tickets are £8 (children £5) and will be available at the door or from band members.

Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir members are also looking forward to the festive season.

‘Christmas With The Choir’ will be held at 7pm on Saturday, December 1, at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

The choir’s special guests will be Burry Port Town Band and the St John Lloyd School Choir.

Also in December, The West End At Christmas returns to the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen with their brand new concert for 2018!

Stars from the West End present a magical evening of entertainment featuring hits from the musicals and the best of Christmas songs.

The talented cast have starred in many West End productions and national tours including Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, South Pacific, Singing in the Rain, Starlight Express, Phantom Of The Opera, Wicked, Godspell, Joseph and Cats . . . to name but a few!

The West End At Christmas will at The Lyric on December 18.

The Kidwelly Festival Ladies Choir will be performing at a Grand Christmas Concert and Vintage Fashion Show at Carmarthen Museum, Abergwili, on December 15 (6pm). Tickets are £10 adults and £5 children. It promises to be a fun night.

Finally, in case you missed the news about Russell Watson . . . 

His Carmarthen concert has been re-scheduled to Tuesday November 27 at the Lyric.

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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