Bryn Terfel's Faenol Festival 2006


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Maria Lawson | Westlife | Opera Gala | Shirley Bassey |Tân y Ddraig

Joining international bass-baritone Bryn Terfel on the stage of this seventh Faenol Festival will be chart-topping boy band Westlife and internationally renowned singer Dame Shirley Bassey.

Opening this year’s festival on the Faenol Estate on Friday 25 August will be the superstar Irish band Westlife.This band burst onto the UK mainstream music scene seven years ago – at about the same time as the Faenol Festival was launched. They have dominated the UK mainstream music scene ever since, and the success of their latest album ‘Face to Face’ shows that they’re still at the top of their game.

On Saturday 26 August, the world of opera and classical music comes to the Faenol. Festival organisers are currently finalising negotiations with an exciting international line up of classical artists whose names will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The world’s favourite diva – Shirley Bassey will be setting the stage ablaze on Sunday 27 August as she performs some of the favourite hit songs from her astonishing five decades at the top of the music industry, and doing it ‘her way’. This will be her first time in North Wales since her sell out performance at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod’s Gala in 2003. It promises to be a thrilling night for fans young and old as the Faenol estate succumbs to her charismatic sequin spangled charm!

The cream of Welsh popular music will return once more to light the dragon’s fire on Monday 28 August and draw the Festival to a climactic close. Further information regarding the line up for Tân y Ddraig / Dragon’s Fire will be released during the coming months.

In launching this year’s Festival, Bryn Terfel commented “Last year’s four night format was such a success that we’re sticking to it, and I’m eagerly looking forward to presenting another stunning weekend in which a world of music comes to Wales. I’m delighted to be joined this year by Dame Shirley Bassey and the boys of Westlife – they are without a doubt amongst the brightest stars of the popular music world. I’m, also very excited by the line up we’re currently pulling together for the Saturday night Gala – I’m keeping cards close to my chest until we finalise discussions, but look forward to introducing some stunning new classical artists and some internationally renowned opera stars to Wales. It’s going to be a wonderful and very memorable festival!”

Roger Jones, Chairman of the Faenol Festival Trust added “I am grateful once again to our sponsors The Welsh Assembly Government , The Event Commission, The Welsh Language Board and Deutsche Grammophone for making this wonderful event possible. Bringing a world of music to Wales is both a financial and artistic challenge, and I must pay tribute to the team who have again pulled together some of the very best performers in the world for this our seventh festival. Every year we go from strength to strength, and the Festival’s reputation grows. We look forward to welcoming back our regular supporters and visitors from across the UK and overseas who will journey to celebrate with us the joy of world class music in this most beautiful part of Wales.”

Last year the Festival sold over 30,000 tickets and filled over 7,000 bed-spaces in the area over bank holiday weekend, and its annual economic impact on the local economy is calculated at £1.5 million annually.

Tickets for all the Faenol Festival performances are now on sale and can be purchased either in person or by phone through North Wales Theatre Box office on 01492 872000, Theatr Gwynedd Box Office on 01248 351708 and Silverstar on 01286 672333.  On line bookings can also be made via Tickets are limited and sell out well in advance of the Festival weekend so early booking is advisable. Ticket prices are: Friday 25th August WESTLIFE: seats £36, grass £28; Saturday 26th August OPERA GALA with Bryn Terfel: seats £36, grass £25; Sunday 27th August SHIRLEY BASSEY: seats £42.50, grass £28; Monday 28th August TÂN Y DDRAIG: grass 19.50, children £12.50. A festival ticket which includes tickets to all performances may also be purchased for £80.

Developing new broadcast opportunities

The Faenol Festival Trust and the BBC have agreed a new three year Broadcast Partnership that will see enhanced televised coverage of the festival. This will ensure that more people can enjoy the Festival’s activities both at home, both through Welsh language and English language mediums.

The Faenol Festival’s ability to attract top international artists has both ensured its success in Wales and has also drawn the world’s interest. Playing an ambassadorial role for Wales, as well as bringing world class artists to delight Welsh audiences is an important part of the Festival’s remit and this broadcast deal will support that, offering greater opportunity to broadcast the event in other countries across the world, as well as offering more opportunities for viewers in Wales to enjoy the Festival performances. The BBC will record the whole Festival, and through their broadcast partnership with S4C, will show both the Opera Gala and Tan y Ddraig on the Welsh language channel while the other performances will be shown on BBC Wales, thus continuing with the broadcast service offered by S4C in the past and enhancing the English language broadcast output.

Menna Richards, Controller BBC Wales said: "We are very pleased to be playing a part in this important cultural event.  We are looking forward to bringing it to audiences all over Wales, on Radio and Television, in English and in Welsh"

Wales’s best loved Opera orchestra and Chorus to Join Bryn for the Opera Gala

The world class Orchestra and Chorus of Welsh National Opera will join Bryn Terfel, Angela Gheorghiu and Rolando Villazón in this year’s Opera Gala on Saturday 26 August under the baton of Gareth Jones.

Commenting on this powerhouse of a Welsh music partnership Bryn Terfel said “I have enjoyed a long and happy relationship with Welsh National Opera, performing most recently with them in Flying Dutchman earlier this year. Having sung in so many opera houses around the world, I can honestly say that the Chorus and Orchestra are among the best in the world. It will be wonderful to share the stage with so many friends and familiar faces and I know they’ll be a real asset to the Opera night”.

John Fisher, General Director of Welsh National Opera said “I am delighted that Welsh National Opera will be performing again at the Faenol Festival this summer. The WNO Orchestra will be returning to the Festival, while the Chorus will be making their debut. The company is of course particularly thrilled to have the opportunity to work again with Bryn Terfel and Angela Gheorghiu, while very much looking forward to its first collaboration with Rolando Villazón.

Bryn Terfel CBE – Biography

Bryn Terfel rose to prominence when he won the Lieder Prize in the 1989 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Subsequent awards include ‘Male Artist of the Year’ in the 2005 Classical Brit Awards, ‘Male Artist of the Year’ and ‘Album of the Year’ for the platinum selling disk ‘Bryn’ in the 2004 Classical Brit Awards, the Prix Caecilia in 2003 for his recording of Wagner Arias under Claudio Abbado, ‘Male Artist of the Year’ in the 2000 Classical Brit Awards, BBC Music Magazine ‘Artist of the Year’ in 1999, the ‘People’s Award’ in 1996 Gramophone Awards, the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal performance and the Gramophone Awards 1995 for his album An Die Musik.

He has performed in all the great opera houses of the world, and is especially recognised for his portrayals of Figaro and Falstaff. Other roles include Méphistophélès in Faust, both the Title Role and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Jochanaan in Salome, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore and the Title Role in Sweeney Todd. Bryn is known for his versatility as a performer, with highlights ranging from the Last Night of the Proms to singing at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Rugby World Cup and performing at the Royal Variety Show in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.

His versatility is also demonstrated in his numerous recordings which range from Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Schumann’s Liederkreis and Verdi’s Falstaff to Something Wonderful - a collection of songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, his gold-selling album, We’ll Keep a Welcome – a collection of traditional Welsh songs, his platinum-selling album ‘Bryn’ to his most recent releases Silent Noon, a collection of English Songs, and Simple Gifts.

In 2005, Bryn made his role début as Wotan in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre in the Royal Opera House’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, and his house débuts as Falstaff for Houston Grand Opera and Los Angeles Opera. Highlights in 2006 include his return to Welsh National Opera as Holländer in Der fliegende Holländer, Scarpia in a new production of Tosca for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and his first concert appearances in Russia.

In 2003, Bryn was awarded a CBE for services to Opera in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

About Faenol Festival

The first ‘Brynfest’ was held on the Faenol Estate near Caernarfon in north west Wales in August 1998. While it has grown in the last seven years from a three to a four night festival to meet audience demand, its vision remains the same: to provide a platform for audiences in this corner of the world to enjoy world renowned artists and showcase the young international opera and classical stars of the future. The Festival won the Wales Tourism Awards’ title ‘Greatest Show in Wales – Event of the Year’ in 2002. It continues to delight sell out crowds of over 30,000 each year.

The Faenol Festival is managed by the Faenol Festival Trust who’s responsibilities include raising the money necessary to present the festival each year and managing the international media rights arising from the filming and broadcast of Festival Performances.

The Festival is presented annually on behalf of the Trust through a partnership between Michael Storrs Music Ltd and Harlequin Agency Ltd. Past artistes have included Andrea Bocelli, Van Morrison, Katherine Jenkins, Catrin Finch, Aled Jones, Jools Holland, Jamie Cullum, José Carreras and Reneé Fleming.

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