The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star

The latest 'On Song' column (about the choral scene in and around Llanelli) from the Llanelli Star -

After the success of the weekend’s Llanelli St David’s Day celebration concert, there’s a special event to celebrate our patron saint’s day in Carmarthen.
The concert has been organised by Theatrau Sir Gar and Llanelli concert promoter Cerith Owens and Loud Applause Productions. It will be at 7pm on Saturday, March 5 at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen.
The concert will feature – Côr Meibion De Cymru, Côr Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin and international baritone Gary Griffiths, from Burry Port.
The evening will be hosted by the excellent Garry Owen.
It will be something of a ‘welcome home’ concert for Gary Griffiths.
Winner of the Welsh Singers Competition in 2012, Gary 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 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 Welsh Theatre Critics’ Award).
He recently sang Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro) for Wiesbaden Opera, Maximillian (Candide) at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, 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. Earlier roles have included Germano (La Scala di Seta) for British Youth Opera; Dog/Innkeeper (The Cunning Little Vixen) for Grange Park Opera; and L’Incognito (L’Assedio di Calais), Le Comte (Chérubin), Mr. Gedge (Albert Herring), Arsenio (La Spinabla) and Marquis de la Force (les Dialogues des Carmelites) at the Guildhall School Opera.
Operatic engagements this season include a return to the Wiesbaden State Opera for Ford (Falstaff), to the New Zealand Festival Opera for Marcello (La Bohème) and to the Welsh National Opera.
His recent concert appearances include Berlioz ‘Les Troyens’ with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Nikolaj Znaider, 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, a gala performance at the National Eisteddfod of Wales with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast at the Barbican with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.
A committed recitalist, he has appeared at the Oxford Lieder Festival with Sholto Kynoch, the Cowbridge Music Festival with Joseph Middleton, King’s Place with Iain Burnside, the Ludlow English Song Weekend with Simon Lepper, Chipping Campden Music, in Harrogate, Dore Abbey and St. David’s Hall, Cardiff.
In recording, he appears on Catrin Finch’s Lullabies CD for Deutsche Grammophon and on his solo album ‘Début’ which was released earlier this year. Soon to be released, is a recording of Mendelssohn Songs with Malcolm Martineau for Champs Hills Records.
Further to the sell-out success of the Music for the Community performance, Llanelli’s Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers can next be heard at "ENCORE with Lesley Garrett" an exclusive sell-out performance with international singing star Lesley Garrett who will reunite with the Hywel choristers for a magical night of music and merriment at Y Ffwrnes on 16 April.
The evening will also feature Gary Griffiths and Llanelli’s latest exciting choir for young ladies, the Angelicus Chorale under the baton of John Hywel Williams.
Further to the momentous success of the Reunion Chorus of past members of the Hywel Choir at the sell-out Christmas Show, the Reunion Chorus will also join the big show, with planned performances with Lesley Garrett with music from the Sound of Music and ever popular favourites such as I’ll Never Walk Alone.
On 7th May in the candlelit surroundings of St Elli Parish Church, conductor John Hywel Williams will present “A Night of World Opera” with the British Sonfonietta Orchestra, Llanelli Choral Society, Angelicus Chorale, soprano Rhiannon Llewellyn, tenor Joshua Owen Mills where audiences will be delighted by a collection of the world’s favourite opera choruses and arias including Aida’s Grand March, Nessun Dorma, Pearlfishers Duet, O Mio Babbino Caro, Anvil Chorus.
On 14th May, the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers and Angelicus Chorale will give an exclusive performance at St. Mary’s Church, Kidwelly as part of the Mayor’s Charity Ball Performance.
Tickets are now on sale for Llanelli’s landmark flag-waving Last Night of the Proms to take place on 4 June at Y Ffwrnes, Llanelli. This year’s 18th annual Last Night of the Proms, will feature the giant massed chorus of the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, Dunvant Male Choir, Llanelli Choral Society, Angelicus Chorale, the symphonic sounds of the British Sinfonietta and TV celebrity soprano Gwawr Edwards – all under the legendary baton of John Hywel Williams.
Future local performances for the Hywel Choir include Heroes Gala Performance (9 July), St David's Cathedral (15 October), Christmas Fantasia (3 December) and The Miracle of Christmas (17 December).

Robert Lloyd works as a media consultant –
If you have any news about the choral scene in Llanelli, the please contact him on 07777 683637 or email


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