Latest On Song column from the Carmarthen Journal and the Llanelli Star –
WELSH singer-songwriter Cat Llewelyn is bringing her very different treatment of opera to Llanelli next week.
Cat and Bex Hazard are an innovative duo called Zirenz.
They specialise in trance music, pop, and opera, with re-imagined arrangements of well-known opera arias, making “pOpera for the people”.
The concert, at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on Saturday, September 9, is in aid of Neuroendocrine Cancer UK.
Cat is a major supporter of the charity after surviving both Neuroendocrine Cancer of the stomach and Neuroendocrine Cancer of the liver.
The concert is being billed as ‘Neuroendocrine Cancer UK presents pOpera by Candleight – Zirenz In Concert’. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.
Cat and Bex kicked off their career together winning an Honourable Mention Award from the world-renowned John Lennon Song writing competition USA in 2003, with their song Underworld Nation.
Then, over the last decade as Trance DJ producers and vocalists, Zirenz chalked up No1 and Top 10 successes in the iTunes, Deezer and Beatport Charts with their vocal trance singles and album releases.
In 2021, their track Edge of Space became part of trance music history when it was included in the official A State Of Trance All Time TOP 1000 list ,which is the holy grail of trance and compiled by the five-time ranked world No1 DJ Armin van Buuren.
Cat was first diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer of the stomach in 2007 and treated in London at Queens hospital in Essex at a time when very little was known about this type of cancer.
It was Christmas 2014 when Cat was then diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer of the liver and was treated at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff.
Shortly after this, she met the specialist nurse from Neuroendocrine Cancer UK organisation who held a meeting at Swansea’s Maggie’s Centre. They gave her vital information and continued support to help understand her Neuroendocrine Cancer.
Today, Cat and Bex are published songwriters signed to the award-winning Bucks Music Group alongside a plethora of international writers.
Over the last four years, they have been working on their “pOpera project”, as they combine their love of trance, pop, and opera with re-imagined arrangements of opera arias.
The concert promises to be a must-see event for many reasons.
The show includes a fascinating and eclectic line-up, with the highly-regarded Cantamus Girls Choir from Nottinghamshire, the ever-popular Rock Choir, the Celtic crossover band The Meadows, the multi-award-winning composer and musician Lisa Mears, all joining the enigmatic, award-winning recording artists Zirenz.
Zirenz will bring you their re-imagined arrangements of well-known opera arias, including – Un Bel Di from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly; The Flower Duet from Delibes’ Lakme (the British Airways theme); Vivaldi’s Gloria, featuring the voice of Welsh Opera Tenor Aled Hall; Pie Jesu and Ave Maria.
These and many other classical songs will be set to dance, electro pop beats and sounds.
All performers taking part have donated their services for free and all ticket sales and proceeds from this performance will all be going to the Neuroendocrine Cancer UK Charity – www.neuroendocrinecancer.org.uk
Meanwhile, there’s a splendid concert lined-up for St Maelog’s Church in Llandyfaelog in the Gwendraeth Valley on Sunday, September 3.
Whitland Male Voice Choir will feature and will share the stage with popular soprano soloist Joy Cornock.
Proceeds from the evening will go towards the St Maelog’s Bell Appeal and maintenance fund.
There will be other guest artists on the evening.
Tickets for the concert are £10. Contact Lynwen on 07792956123 for more information.
Upcoming events at Carmarthenshire Theatres (Theatrau Sir Gar) include –
Edwina Hayes will be performing at the Miners’ Theatre in Ammanford on September 8.
Edwina brings together English folk, Americana and the rich Northern singer-songwriter tradition to create a sound that’s truly her own. She’s toured with Jools Holland, Van Morrison, Nanci Griffith and Loudon Wainwright III and played on some of the country’s biggest stages including Glastonbury and the Royal Albert Hall.
Edwina will be supported by The Eclectic Shed Experience.
Carmarthenshire-based band The Eclectic Shed Experience is made up of a trio of musicians – Ron Savory, Liz Crippin and Alan Thomas. Eclectic is the perfect word to describe the music ESE perform; having three songwriters means that there is a great deal of diversity in the style of their songs, and it would be impossible to limit the description of their material to one genre.
Eclectic Shed initially built a following as a duo, performing at festivals all over the UK and abroad. During this time, they shared the stage with luminaries including The Daoiri Farrell trio, Kieran Halpin, Edwina Hayes and Marla and David Celia.