Posts Categorized: News

Statement on the situation in the Middle East

Since 1947, the ethos of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has been to promote peace and understanding through music and dance, both in its annual July week and through delivering inclusive outreach projects throughout the year to local communities in Wales and worldwide.

The aims of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, to promote peace in our world are never more important than in times of conflict.

The terrible escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Territories is deeply distressing and we condemn the disregard being shown for the fundamental human rights of civilians.

We have welcomed competitors from the region to Llangollen in previous years, our thoughts are with the innocent people in Gaza and Israel and we join the international community in calling for an immediate de-escalation of the violence.

Perform at Llangollen 2024 – Competition Applications Now Open!

Llangollen 2024: 2-7 July 

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has announced details of how to compete or participate at Llangollen 2024. Across 29 categories, including nine new competitions, some of the world’s top music and dance talent will travel to the iconic peace festival in beautiful North Wales; where Wales Welcomes the World. 

A dedicated Participant website, and syllabus, contain all the information on how to apply, categories, arranging accommodation and more…
https://eisteddfodcompetitions.co.uk/ 

Competitions continue to sit at the heart of the Llangollen Eisteddfod. They will take place during the core Eisteddfod week, Tuesday 2 – Sunday 7 July 2024. For competitors, there are some fabulous opportunities and prizes up for grabs, at this truly international celebration of all things musical and dance. First to open for applications are the group categories, followed by solo categories later this year.  

Chair of the Llangollen Eisteddfod Sarah Ecob said,
“We are delighted to open applications for what is one of the world’s most respected and renowned cultural competitions. Previous winners include Pavarotti no less.  At the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod we celebrate musical excellence and next year’s event will continue that tradition. This year, we have been determined to ensure that the Eisteddfod doesn’t just survive but thrives. It’s vital however to ensure that our usual, core festival ensures supporters continue to enjoy the traditional, competitive part of the Llangollen Eisteddfod.” 

As a way of celebrating the achievements of children and young people, a new Young Choir of the World competition is being introduced. For 2024 the winning choir will be showcased on the main stage at The Royal International Pavilion during the Wednesday 3 July evening concert.  

Solo finalists will also have the fantastic opportunity to perform in an evening concert. The International Voice of the Future will be part of the Saturday 6 July evening concert and, for the first time, International Voice of Musical Theatre finalists will perform with a live band in the Thursday 4 July evening concert (not to be missed!).  

Other new additions include the Open Dance (Solo, Duet and Trio) category for under 11yrs, 12-17yrs, and 18yrs & over, the Children’s Open Choirs category, and the welcome return of Chamber, Adult Folk Song Choirs, Instrumental Ensemble, Vocal and Instrumental Folk Solo.  

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is located in the beautiful hillside town of Llangollen in North East Wales. Main competitions take place in the magnificent 4000 seat Royal International Pavilion.  In 2024, either side of the core Eisteddfod week (2-7 July), there will be additional shows – including headliners Manic Street Preachers  & Suede (Friday 28 June), and Paloma Faith (Friday 21 June). 

Downloadable syllabus book, application forms and other competitor information available on  dedicated website: https://eisteddfodcompetitions.co.uk/  

Paloma Faith at Llangollen 2024

Double platinum and BRIT award-winning artist Paloma Faith will head to North Wales next summer as part of her The Glorification Of Sadness Tour 2024.

The 26-date UK tour will see the British superstar headline at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on Friday June 21.

Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday October 20 from llangollen.net and www.ticketmaster.co.uk

The announcement comes as Paloma has released her first single in three years, How You Leave A Man, and as she unveils her sixth studio album The Glorification of Sadness which is released February 16 – her first new music since the release of fifth studio album Infinite Things in November 2020.

The trip to Llangollen will see Paloma perform an array of hits from her extensive and much-loved repertoire with fans singing along to classics such as Only Love Can Hurt Like This and Lullaby as well as new songs from The Glorification of Sadness.

The headlining show is presented in a new partnership between Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Live Nation promoters Cuffe and Taylor and marks the second announcement for 2024.

Last week it was revealed indie superstars Manic Street Preachers and Suede will play a double headlining show at the iconic peace festival on Friday June 28. Tickets for that show go on sale this Friday (Oct 13) at 9am.

Cuffe and Taylor co-founder Peter Taylor said:What an incredible second announcement to be making for the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Paloma Faith is without doubt a superstar who presents the most breathtaking concerts and we can’t wait to bring her to Llangollen. We’re very excited to be working alongside the team at this incredible peace festival and look forward to making more announcements soon.”

Chair of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Sarah Ecob added: “We promised to reach for the stars with our brilliant new partnership with Cuffe and Taylor and we are delighted that another huge star, Paloma Faith will be joining us in 2024. With her soulful, jazz-influenced pop music and her stunning style we know she will be a massive hit with our audiences.”

For more information and to purchase tickets go to llangollen.net and www.ticketmaster.co.uk

CONNECT WITH PALOMA FAITH

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

Manic Street Preachers & Suede to headline Llangollen 2024

FRIDAY JUNE 28th 2024 

Manic Street Preachers and Suede are to headline a very special show in North Wales next summer.

The double headlining show will see the indie music legends head to Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on Friday June 28.

The June date marks a triumphant return for the Manic Street Preachers to Llangollen after they last headlined at the festival in 2017.

Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Friday October 13 from llangollen.net and www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Manic Street Preachers are one of the most influential and iconic rock bands to have come out of Wales. They have gone on to release 14 studio albums and have headlined countless festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival and Reading & Leeds. They have won eleven NME Awards, eight Q Awards and four BRIT Awards and were also nominated for the Mercury Prize and the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Manics are currently working on their 15th studio album, the follow up to ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ which entered the UK charts at No. 1 on its release in September 2021.  They last performed in the UK this summer when they made critically acclaimed performances at Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals.

The news of the tour meets huge demand surrounding the success of Suede’s ninth studio album Autofiction, and their entirely sold-out UK headline tour earlier this year. Debuting at #2 in the UK Albums Chart, the release marked Suede’s highest charting LP since 1999’s Head Music. The new album has been received as a career peak by fans and critics alike.

2023 has seen the release of Suede30 – timely reminder of how the band’s debut album had such a powerful and transformative effect on British music from the outset. Suede’s eponymous debut shot to #1 in the UK Album Charts upon its release selling over 100,000 copies in its first week, winning the prestigious Mercury Music Prize and becoming the fastest-selling debut album ever in the UK at that time.

Suede and the Manic Street Preachers’ Llangollen show is part of a UK and Ireland tour that follows a sold out 2022 US tour that saw both bands greeted with a fantastic reception.

The headlining show is presented in a new partnership between Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Live Nation promoters Cuffe and Taylor.

Cuffe and Taylor, one of the UK’s top live music, theatre and event promoters, are partnering with the International Eisteddfod to promote a series of live concerts in conjunction with the world-famous peace festival.

Cuffe and Taylor co-founder Peter Taylor said: “We have presented countless shows in Wales over the years so it is great to be forming a new and very exciting relationship with the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod team.

“We will be working together to bring global stars and look forward to working alongside everyone in Llangollen helping secure the future of this historic event.

“I am delighted our first announcement is that we are bringing the Manic Street Preachers and Suede to Llangollen and we will be revealing even more big name artists very soon.”

Cuffe and Taylor present breath-taking tours, festivals and shows across the UK filling football stadiums, arenas, theatres and major historical sites working with a roster of artists ranging from Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Britney Spears and Stereophonics to Sir Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Sam Fender, The Strokes and Kylie.

Chair of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Sarah Ecob said: “We are so pleased to be working with Cuffe and Taylor, who have an outstanding reputation in the industry.  By working in partnership with them, we have ensured that our peace festival set up in 1947 not only survives, but thrives.  We are so excited to welcome back the Manic Street Preachers and can’t wait to make more announcements over the coming days and weeks.”

For more information and to purchase tickets go to llangollen.net and www.ticketmaster.co.uk

 

Manic Street Preachers Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Suede Website |Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Llangollen Eisteddfod welcomes six new trustees! 

New trustee Shea Ferron on stage at Llangollen2023 with Alfie Boe, taking a selfie showing the audience in the background.

A reverend who doubles as a Squadron Leader in the RAF, a singer who unexpectedly shared the stage with Alfie Boe and a woman who moved 6000 miles to be closer to the festival she loves are just a few of the new trustees of the internationally renowned Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. 

Chair of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Sarah Ecob said, “We are delighted to welcome our new Board Members who bring a range of new talents and deep knowledge of the Eisteddfod to our Board.  This will be invaluable as we continue our programme of recovery and growth. We would like to thank the outgoing Board Members, all of whom will continue to be active within the Eisteddfod structures” 

The trustees have joined the team as the Eisteddfod, which started in 1947 to promote peace, faces huge financial challenges.  The new trustees were directly elected by company members and all bring different types of expertise.  Collectively, they will be stepping up to the breach left after the difficult financial decision to make the Executive Producer role redundant, previously held by Camilla King. 

No nonsense Reverend, Rebekah Canon is no stranger to the arts.  The ‘tuk tuk’ driving RAF Chaplain trained as a professional Actor and Theatre Director.  She worked internationally in Thailand, Bali and Russia on multi-disciplinary, large-scale performance and events. She is now an RAF (Anglican) Chaplain who has made Llangollen her home with her partner Gerallt. 

Rebekah, who loves gardening and jumps out of planes for fun said,  “I am utterly thrilled to be involved in contributing towards the future of the International Eisteddfod.  It is a unique event that has directly contributed to making Llangollen such a special place.  The heartbeat of our town is synonymous with the diversity, inclusivity and artistry of the Eisteddfod and I’m focused on seeing that continue for generations to come.  To play a key role in safeguarding our peace festival that welcomes the world to Llangollen every year is an amazing privilege.” 

Shea Ferron, at 20 is already a well-known figure in Llangollen.  In May, he was a member of the John’s Boys Chorus who reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent.  The drama student is a former Choir of the World winner and joined Alfie Boe on stage in July to rapturous applause.  Shea is the youngest ever Trustee at the Festival and has been involved in the festival, in various guises, since childhood.  Shea is combining his work as trustee with studying in his final year at The Institute for Contemporary Theatre in Manchester. 

Shea said, “The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, like the arts, is in my blood.  Since I was a youngster, it has been a major part of my life.  Some of my first memories are from this inspirational festival.   I am both honoured and grateful to be joining the board of trustees at such a critical point in the Eisteddfod’s 76-year history, ensuring the festival is here for generations to come.” 

The strengthened board have already held a huge open evening, bringing together the committees and volunteers (many new to the Eisteddfod); that saw dozens of supporters brainstorming ideas to safeguard the future of the festival.  The board have additionally already met several times as they put planning in place for next year’s festival.  Fundraising plans are being finalised as the team work to ensure the future of the festival. 

Another familiar face joining the board is Selana Kong, who loved the Llangollen Eisteddfod so much that herself, her husband Bill and son Daniel relocated 6000 miles just to be closer to it. For years, Selena and Bill travelled over from Hong Kong to volunteer.   Now they live within walking distance of Llangollen’s Royal International Pavilion and Selana wants to reach out across the world to continue the Eisteddfod’s peace tradition. 

Selana, a professional coach, mediator, and consultant said, “The Llangollen Eisteddfod is an amazing festival and in a polarised world, our message of peace and unity is as vital today as it was in 1947.  I want to continue the tradition of our festival reaching out to the world.  Bill and I fell in love with the Llangollen Eisteddfod and frequently travelled back to volunteer.  In 2019, we decided to cut the commute and move here lock, stock and barrel.  When I was asked to stand for election to the Eisteddfod Board, I jumped at the chance.  It is an amazing opportunity to give something back to the festival that changed our lives and ensure it can continue to change others.” 

Other new members of the board include Allison Davies, a former teacher at Ysgol Dinas Bran who has been heavily involved in the festival for decades, and Karen Price; who has been involved in the festival all her life – first helping with the famous flowers and more recently as Chair of Competitor’s Committee and the UK Competitor’s Liaison Officer.  Communications professional David Hennigan has also been elected on to the board.  He first sang at the Llangollen Eisteddfod in 1985, met his wife at the festival and has now relocated to the beautiful town. 

STATEMENT FROM THE CHAIR OF THE LLANGOLLEN INTERNATIONAL EISTEDDFOD.

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod have taken the difficult decision to make their Executive Producer Camilla King redundant.  Camilla is leaving with the thanks of all Board Members and Chairs of the Committees.  She has been Executive Producer since September 2021 and steered the festival since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chair of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Sarah Ecob said, “The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has been severely impacted by the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and by the current cost of living crisis.  Like many other cultural organisations, the Eisteddfod is facing an extremely challenging future due to our financial situation.  The Board and the Committee Chairs have met to discuss emergency actions to try to stabilise our organisation.  We have taken the very sad decision to make our Executive Producer redundant and we will shortly be launching a major fundraising campaign to safeguard the Eisteddfod’s future.

“We’d like to thank Camilla for her outstanding work at our festival and wish her well for the future.  We would like to thank our customers, volunteers, staff, competitors, performers,  and funders who make the Eisteddfod such a special event every year…with their help we can ensure the Eisteddfod continues to be central to cultural life in Wales and continue its role in promoting peace in an uncertain world.”

The festival has appointed several new board members who will work with the staff and hundreds of volunteers to make sure the Eisteddfod continues.

2023 Competition Results

Competition Results – Wednesday 5 July 2023
A7 Children’s Folk Choirs, A8 Junior Children’s Choirs, A9 Senior Children’s Choirs, Children’s Choir of the World Awards and Conductors Prize. 

A7 Children’s Folk Choirs:
1stCôr Heol y March, Cymru
2ndCantilon Chamber Choir, Canada
3rdCôr Glanaethwy, Cymru 

A8 Junior Children’s Choirs:
1stLindley Junior School Choir, England
2ndWalhampton School Chapel Choir, England
3rdThe Musical Originals Training Choir, Jersey 

A9 Senior Children’s Choirs:
1stCantilon Chamber Choir, Canada
2ndCantabile Girls Choir, England
3rd – Côr Heol y March, Cymru 

Children’s Choir of the World:
Winner – Lindley Junior School Choir, England
Conductors Prize – Jo Williamson 

 

Competition Results – Thursday 6 July 2023
C1 Traditional Folk-Dance Group, C3 Children’s Folk Dance Group, B6 Young Musician, C2 Choreographed/Stylised Folk Dance Group, B4 Junior Singer and B3 Young Singer. 

C1 Traditional Folk-Dance Group:
1stLoughgiel Folk Dancers, Northern Ireland
2ndLabschool Kebayoran Senior Highschool, Indonesia
3rdKYKLOS – Hellenic Performing and Literary Arts Group, Canada/Greece  

C3 Children’s Folk Dance Group:
1stLoughgiel Folk Dancers, Northern Ireland
2ndLabschool Kebayoran Senior Highschool, Indonesia
3rdNachda Punjab Youth Club, India  

B6 Young Musician:
1stEmma Buckley, Cymru
2ndAlwena Mair Owen, Cymru
3rdCerys Jones, Cymru 

C2 Choreographed/Stylised Folk Dance Group:
1stSoul Oasis Cultural Ambassadors, Trinidad and Tobago
2ndLabschool Kebayoran Senior Highschool, Indonesia
3rdLoughgiel Folk Dancers, Northern Ireland  

B4 Junior Singer:
1stRubie Le Masurier, Jersey
2ndErin Matthews, England
3rdChung Yin Joan Tso, Hong Kong  

B3 Young Singer:
1stDivine Simbanegavi, England
2nd – Oscar Fairclough, England
3rd – Heini Hughes, England

 

Competition Results – Friday 7 July 2023
B5 International Musician of the Future and B1 International Voice of the Future Semi-Final.  

B5 International Musician of the Future:
1stTom Hall, England (Percussion)
2ndGeorge Fradley, England (Piano)
3rdTomos Arthur Boyles, Cymru (Piano)  

B1 International Voice of the Future Semi-Final:
1stSamantha Lewis, England
2ndOwain Rowlands, Cymru
3rdJeannette Lee, China
4thCharlotte Kelso, Australia
5thNonkululeko Zondo, South Africa
6thZihua Zhang, China 

 

Competition Results – Saturday 8 July 2023
A1 Mixed Choir, A3 Equal Voice Choirs, A5 Open Choirs and A6 A Cappella Choirs.
Saturday evening Finale: Choir of the World, Lucille Armstrong Dance Award and B1 Pendine International Voice of the Future. 

A1 Mixed Choirs:
1stKAMMERCHOR MANILA, Philippines
2ndDelaware Choral Scholars, USA
3rdAzusa Pacific University Chamber, USA 

A3 Equal Voice Choirs:
1stLe Voci, England
2ndHeartbeat Chorus, England
3rdRisca Male Voice Choir, Cymru 

A5 Open Choirs:
1stDelaware Choral Scholars, USA
2ndAzusa Pacific University Chamber, USA
3rdHeartbeat Chorus, England 

A Cappella Choirs:
1stCantilon Chamber Choir, Canada
2ndAzusa Pacific University Chamber, USA
3rdCôr Glanaethwy, Cymru  

Saturday evening Finale: 

Choir of the World:
Winner – KAMMERCHOR MANILA – Philippines
Jayne Davies International Conductor’s Prize – Heather Johnson of Cantilon Chamber Choir – Canada 

Runners Up to COTW:
Cantilon Chamber Choir – Canada
Delaware Choral Scholars – USA
Le Voci – England 

Lucille Armstrong Dance Champions 2023:
Winner – Labschool Kebayoran Senior Highschool – Indonesia 

Runners Up –
Loughgiel Folk Dancers – Northern Ireland
Soul Oasis Cultural Ambassadors – Trinidad & Tobago 

Pendine International Voice of the Future:
Winner – Zihua Zhang – China
Runner-Up – Owain Rowlands – Wales
Charlotte Kelso – Australia 

 

Competition Results – Sunday 9 July 2023

D2 Community Bands
1stChester Big Band, England
2ndWrexham Concert Band, Cymru
3rd Mold Town Concert Band, Cymru  

B2 Voice of Musical Theatre
Winner – Makenna Malkin, USA
Runner up – Shea Ferron, Cymru
Fflur Davies, Cymru 

Live Finals: Results

It was a #TeamAsia final with one of the most closely fought contests seen in Llangollen for many years. Here are our judges winners:

Choir of the World:

Winners: Kammerchoir Manila – Philippines
Jayne Davies International Conductor’s Prize: Heather Johnson of Cantilon Chamber Choir – Canada

Runners Up to COTW:
Cantilon Chamber Choir – Canada
Delaware Choral Scholars – USA
Le Voci – England

Lucille Armstrong Dance Champions 2023:
Winners: Labschool Kebayoran Senior Highschool – Indonesia

Runners Up:
Loughgiel Folk Dancers – Northern Ireland
Soul Oasis Cultural Ambassadors – Trinidad & Tobago

Pendine International Voice of the Future:
Winner: Zihua Zhang – China
Runner-Up: Owain Rowlands – Wales
Charlotte Kelso – Australia

A huge congratulations to everyone who has competed and performed over the last week, we’ve had an absolute ball, and your joy in sharing your music and dance has really captured the town and far beyond.

Dylan Thomas’s radio masterpiece brought back to life 70 years on

A famous radio broadcast by poet Dylan Thomas about Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is being recreated to mark its 70th anniversary. 

The reading from actor, writer and director Celyn Jones will form the centrepiece of a mini programme of events to celebrate the literary magician’s 15-minute masterpiece on the BBC’s Home Service when he visited in 1953. 

The vivid verbal images conjured an enchanting and unforgettable picture from the unique event and was delivered in his deep, resonant voice. 

But it’s been revealed that the historic broadcast very nearly didn’t happen because at one point Thomas lost his notes on the way back to the BBC’s studio in Cardiff. 

That same year the late Queen Elizabeth also attended the Eisteddfod shortly after her Coronation. 

The festival had been established six years earlier under the dark shadow cast by the Second World War as a way of promoting peace through musical harmony and dance. 

Since then hundreds of thousands of competitors from all over the planet have beaten a path to Llangollen. 

The picturesque town in the Dee Valley where “Wales meets the world” is now gearing up for the first  full length festival since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. 

It all gets underway on Tuesday, July 4, and the competitions and concerts continue until Sunday, July 9, with thousands of singers and dancers from around the world due to take part. 

Each day features a full programme of competitions in the Pavilion and a line-up of stalls and exhibitions on the field along with the competitors from around the world, many in colourful dress while three open-air stages run a stream of live performances. 

Entertainment on the outside site includes workshops, talks, international showcases, outdoor theatre performances, circus skills, sound bath sessions, yoga, belly dancing, beginner’s Welsh and  salsa. 

The Globe Stage will feature music acts spanning folk, jazz, world and indie. 

There will also be an international flavour to the cuisine available in the new Globe Food Court. 

Visitors will be able to “go around the world in 80 minutes” with stalls serving food from different countries including India, Greece, Jamaica, Mexico, Germany and Italy. 

According to the Eisteddfod’s executive producer, Camilla King, they were particularly keen to celebrate the anniversary of Thomas’s memorable broadcast. 

She said: “Although sadly Dylan Thomas died in New York a few months after his visit to Llangollen, his priceless legacy will live on because he is rightly regarded as one of the literary greats. 

“We felt it was particularly appropriate to remember not only his brilliant broadcast but also the wider canon of his work which turned him into a superstar poet.” 

The activities will include a presentation by Prof Chris Adams, vice chair of the Eisteddfod and a member of its  Archive Committee, who revealed the poet was paid the princely sum of 20 guineas for his endeavours.  

Prof Adams said that  Swansea-born Thomas had “generated verbal images of the early Eisteddfod whose power resonates to this day”. 

It was all the more remarkable, he said, because locals recall he had spent a lot of his time in Llangollen in the pub, with the Wynnstay Hotel (now The Three Eagles) being a favourite watering hole. 

That was borne out by the late Aneirin Talfan Davies, the BBC producer who was despatched to Llangollen to keep an eye on Thomas, who accompanied by his wife, Aeronwy and their daughter, Caitlin. 

Talfan Davies, who was himself a talented poet, later told how Thomas had spent the week  “wandering aimlessly through the streets of Llangollen, with the odd half hour spent in the eisteddfod tent and many hours in the  bars of the town’s pubs.” 

He also described the poet’s way of working which involved “writing notes on cigarette packets, and the panic on the way back to Cardiff when Thomas feared he had lost the material”. 

Thankfully, the notes came to light in the nick of time and the finished, finessed piece has been described as a classic example of his genius with words. 

Apart from the competitions and remembering Dylan Thomas, other highlights include a concert starring Alfie Boe and musical theatre supergroup Welsh of the West End on the first night of the Eisteddfod on Tuesday, July 4. 

Wednesday will see The White Flower: Into The Light, a concert of remembrance for the fallen of Sarajevo and Ukraine, featuring the NEW Sinfonia orchestra with soloists from Bosnia, Wales and Ukraine, with the centrepiece formed by Karl Jenkin’s much loved work, The Armed Man. 

The popular procession of international participants and celebration of peace takes place on Thursday, followed by Flight, a new mixed-media dance, music and theatre work by visionary artists Propellor Ensemble, inspired by migratory patterns in nature and humanity. 

On the Friday night Guy Barker’s Big Band will take the stage with Strictly Come Dancing singer Tommy Blaize. 

Saturday features the blue riband event, the Choir of the World competition for the coveted Pavarotti Trophy, and also Dance Champions and the Pendine International Voice of the Future 2023. 

There is a new look to the final day of the Eisteddfod on Sunday with an all new live final which sees rising vocal stars battle it out to claim the title Voice of Musical Theatre, and Cân i Llan, a new song-writing competition for unsigned acts aged 14-22, providing a platform for emerging voices in contemporary popular music.  

Camilla King added: “Entertainment on the outside site spans across three main stages with further daily pop-ups and includes workshops in the Amphitheatre with Small World Theatre Company inviting visitors to create their own white flower sculpture and Propellor Ensemble building a giant instrument from recycled materials. 

“There will also be daily Lego building, arts and crafts, floral sessions from the Eisteddfod’s famed arrangers, circus skills with Jester Jack, Xplore Science, yoga, sound bathing, belly dancing and the chance to learn new skills from the wide ranging visiting competitors.  

“Talks on the Dome Stage feature Calan’s Bethan Rhiannon ‘From clog dancing to comedy’, poet Mererid Hopwood leading a panel for the annual Peace Lecture, reflecting on the incredible Women of Wales Peace Petition. 

“International showcases take the Globe Stage from acts including the Tibetan Tashi Lhunpo Monks, SOAS Min’yo Japanese folk music, Bosnian and Ukrainian performers, and music from Filkin’s Drift, Seprona, Kilbride Brothers, The Billy Thompson Trio, The Bartells, Chester Big Band and Lilly Boughey amongst many others.” 

Tickets & What’s On: www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk/whats-on/

 

 

Jazz legend and Strictly star will light up Llangollen Eisteddfod

A jazz legend who played with Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra will be teaming up with the voice of Strictly Come Dancing for a night to remember in North Wales. 

Strictly singer Tommy Blaize will be joining Guy Barker and his Big Band for a “powerhouse performance” in a star-studded concert at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod at 8pm on Friday, July 7. 

It’s a return to the festival for Guy who has also shared the stage with other superstars including George Michael, Sting, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Phil Collins, Sammy Davis Jr and Liza Minnelli among many others. 

The first of Guy’s two previous appearances at Llangollen Eisteddfod was in 2003, backing iconic husband and wife duo Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine and he returned to play with bass-baritone Sir Willard White in 2009. 

This time he’ll be conducting his own 15-piece band along with Strictly Come Dancing lead singer Tommy Blaize as well as Clare Teal and Vanessa Haynes and sax player Giacomo Smith. 

Guy, 65, has fond memories of performing at Llangollen and he said: “I played with Willard White when he did a tribute to Paul Robeson and before that I was there with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine. 

“I remember the stage and the backstage area well and the audience were so enthusiastic. It’s a great place to play.” 

Guy’s background is in showbiz. His mum is actress Barbara Barker, now 95, who appeared in the first seven episodes of Coronation Street and later in Z Cars and Emmerdale Farm while his late father, Ken, was an actor and stuntman. 

“In the opening scene of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, my dad’s the one running naked into the sea on the beach,” said Guy: “It was six in the morning and it was freezing. 

“He loved the Swing era and learned the clarinet and he encouraged me to play the trumpet so we could do duets and bought me my first two albums, one by trumpeter Louis Armstrong. 

“Music was all I knew and I’ve never done anything else.” 

The people Guy has played with reads like a musical who’s who and one of his career highlights was backing Sinatra in front of 45,000 fans in Italy. 

He has also recorded eight solo albums, two of which were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, and since 2008 he has been the Musical Director and arranger for the annual Jazz Voice concert at the Barbican, which opens the London Jazz Festival and has a long-standing role with the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. 

He arranged the music for the films The Talented Mr Ripley and The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by the late film director Anthony Minghella who said: “Guy Barker is that rare thing – a brilliant soloist, a born leader and a generous accompanist. He can play so your heart breaks or your head swivels.” 

Llangollen Eisteddfod executive producer Camilla King said: “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to book Guy Barker for a return visit for what will be a truly memorable night. 

“The audience can expect punchy brass, New Orleans soul and a journey through the history of jazz song, featuring both classics and surprise new arrangements, including a re-imagined Tom Waits number. 

“It’s going to be a fantastic, one-off set drawn together with Guy’s inimitable sense of storytelling through music.” 

Guy Barker’s Big Band will take the stage at Llangollen as part of a high quality series of concerts which kick-off on the Tuesday evening, July 4, with Eisteddfod favourite Alfie Boe who joins forces with musical theatre super-group, Welsh of the West End. 

Wednesday will see The White Flower: Into The Light, a concert of remembrance for the fallen of Sarajevo and Ukraine, featuring the NEW Sinfonia orchestra with soloists from Bosnia, Wales and Ukraine, with works including extracts from Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man culminating in the Eisteddfod’s traditional message of peace and hope for the future of all nations. 

The popular procession of international participants and celebration of peace takes place on Thursday, followed by Flight, a new theatrical work by visionary artists Propellor Ensemble, inspired by migratory patterns in nature and humanity. 

Saturday features the blue riband event, the Choir of the World competition for the coveted Pavarotti Trophy, and also Dance Champions and the Pendine International Voice of the Future 2023. 

There is a new look to the final day of the Eisteddfod on Sunday with an all new live final which sees rising vocal stars battle it out to claim the title Voice of Musical Theatre, and a new song-writing competition for emerging voices in contemporary popular music.  

“On the field, community bands, brass, silver, wind, compete, and audiences can choose their winner of the new Eisteddfod Dance Off.” 

As well as the concerts, each day features a full programme of competitions in the Pavilion and a line-up of stalls and exhibitions on the field along with the competitors from around the world, many in colourful dress while three open-air stages run a stream of live performances. 

Each year around 4,000 participants take to the stage with around 25,000 visitors attending. 

There will also be lots of entertainment on the outside site including workshops, talks, international showcases, outdoor theatre performances and circus skills. 

For full programme details and to buy tickets go to: www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk/whats-on/