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

The latest 'On Song' column (about the choral scene in West Wales) from the Carmarthen Journal and the Llanelli Star -

The ‘boys’ of Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir are getting ready for their annual concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.
The celebrated Pontarddulais soprano Adele O’Neill will be joining the choir for their much-awaited concert at 7pm on Saturday, September 24.
Adele’s passion for singing was inspired by her grandmother’s old records of the opera greats and the beauty and emotion of such voices.
Adele’s singing talent was first spotted in her early years as she enjoyed various singing roles with regional societies before her singing career swept her to London, where she studied and graduated from the acclaimed Guildhall School of Music and Drama London under the tutelage of Professor Laura Sarti, the internationally celebrated Italian mezzo-soprano.
Adele’s exciting singing career has seen her perform with a wealth of choruses, orchestras and artists with countless performances given in both the UK and internationally, spanning France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Canada.
Memorable performances include Eglise Notre Dame Versailles, Bedrich Smetana Concert Hall Prague, Peterborough Cathedral, La Casa de la cultura Andalucia, Gloucester Cathedral, St. David’s Cathedral, Collegiate Concert Hall Budapest and the Krakow’s acclaimed Maritsky Church.
As an award-winning soprano, Adele has won many prestigious awards. These include several prizes at the National Eisteddfod of Wales and the esteemed International Gold Medal Singing Competition at the internationally renowned Llangollen International Eisteddfod. Adele was also a semi-finalist in the prestigious Montserrat Caballe International singing competition in Zaragoza.
Her charming, warm and embracing performances have brought her numerous operatic and oratorio roles.
Operatic roles are numerous but a favourite sample would include Micaela (Carmen), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Mimi (La Boheme), Antonia (The tales of Hoffman), Leonora (Fidelio), Papagena (Magic Flute), Arabella (Arabella), Contessa (Marriage of Figaro), Filipnevya (Eugene Onegin). Oratorio performances include The Elijah (Mendelssohn), The Messiah (Handel), Requiem (Verdi), Requiem (Mozart), A Child of our Time (Tipett), Gloria (Vivaldi), St John Passion (Bach), Messa di Gloria (Puccini), Mass in time of war (Haydn), Coronation Mass (Mozart), Requiem (Faure), The Armed Man (Jenkins), Nelson Mass (Haydn).
The other special guests joining Côr Meibion Llanelli will be Penrhyn Male Choir from North Wales. The two choirs are ‘old friends’. Côr Meibion Llanelli performed with Côr Penrhyn at one of the first events to be staged at the new Bryn Terfel Theatre at The Pontio arts centre in Bangor earlier this year.
Côr Penrhyn are paying back the favour by journeying south for the Côr Meibion Llanelli concert.
“We have a great relationship with the boys of Côr Penrhyn,” said Llanelli choir secretary Fred Elias.
“We enjoy working together and, when the two choirs join together in song, it really is a stirring experience not to be missed.”
Côr y Penrhyn will be led by their musical director Owain Howell-Davies.
Côr Penrhyn is based in the old quarrying village of Bethesda in North West Wales.
The Penrhyn slate quarry used to employ 3,000 men providing roofing slate which was exported to most countries in the world. Automation has brought that number down to 300. The area is one of the strongholds of the Welsh language.
Originally, the choir drew its members entirely from the local slate quarry after which the choir is named.
Nowadays, the 100 members are drawn from a large area of North Wales and from a variety of occupations. School teachers are in the majority at present, outnumbering the quarry workers by about four to one. There are professors and plumbers, accountants and ambulancemen, carpenters and computer consultants, television producers and barmen, firemen and farmers, bankers and businessmen – all with one thing in common – the love of good music.
As one of Wales’ oldest choirs, Penrhyn’s repertoire reflects the traditional values of male voice singing.
Recent work commissioned by the choir combines words by one of Wales’ most accomplished poets, Ieuan Wyn, with music by Welsh composer Gareth Glyn.
In a lighter vein, the choir’s programme includes adaptations of pop songs, Welsh and English, as well as the ever popular spirituals and opera choruses.
The choir have recorded a number of albums, including a CD entitled “Dychwelyd” which was recorded to coincide with the choirs centenary return to Chicago in 1993. “Arwelfa” which was recorded in 2006, and the latest offering called Anthem.
The MC for the evening will be Robert Lloyd.
Tickets can be obtained through the Ffwrnes Theatre box office or through the Theatrau Sir Gar website.
Côr Meibion Llanelli secretary Mr Elias said now was a great time to join the Llanelli choir.
“We are always looking for new members. There is great camaraderie in being part of a big male voice choir. You get the chance to travel and to make friends around the world.
“Anyone interested in joining Côr Meibion Llanelli can come along to our rehearsals at 7pm on Monday and Thursdays at Furnace Community Hall.”

Events calendar
Saturday October 29 Concert in LLansteffan
Sunday November 6 concert Llangyndyern
Llanelli's annual Festival of Light event in aid of Ty Bryngwyn Hospice, 6pm Monday 14th November at the St Elli Shopping Centre.
December 17, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Christmas Concert at Ffwrnes (7pm) with special guests The Phil Harmonics.


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