Elite American choir opt for real Welsh welcome in Llangollen

An internationally renowned American choir are looking forward to having a true taste of Welsh hospitality.

The Azusa Pacific University Chamber Singers from California are heading to Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in July and will be staying with local families rather than booking hotel and guest house accommodation. The 37-strong choir are among the world’s choral elite and their track record includes winning the International Competition for Choirs in Austria in 2013 as well as singing at a host of iconic venues including Sydney Opera House and the Vatican. (more…)

We’ll be even better than Status Quo, promises UB40 legend Ali Campbell

The music legend who formed one of the world’s top reggae bands will provide a high energy climax to a top festival, it’s been revealed.

Ali Campbell, the voice of UB40 who sold 70 million records, has been snapped up by Llangollen International Musical Festival for their closing concert on Sunday, July 12.

Ali_04341

He’ll  be reunited on the eisteddfod stage with two other founding members of UB40 – percussionist, trumpet player and vocalist Astro and keyboard player Mickey.

The concert is being sponsored by the award-winning Village Bakery, the fastest growing manufacturer in Wales. (more…)

Song-writing legend Burt Bacharach to perform in North Wales for first time

Burt Bacharach

Organisers of a top festival are celebrating after signing up Oscar-winning music legend Burt Bacharach to perform at this year’s event.

Bacharach, described by many as the greatest songwriter of the 20th century, will open the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod, with an extra concert on Monday, July 6. The festival was originally due to start the following day but the Monday night was the only time he was available during Eisteddfod week.

Bacharach has 73 top 40 US and 52 UK hits to his name in a career spanning more than 60 years and shows no signs of slowing down – he is looking forward to his first ever visit to North Wales. (more…)

Superstar tenor Alfie Boe promises musical magic

Music from stage and screen at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

Alfie Boe Alfie - R_Shot19-005

Superstar tenor Alife Boe is heading back to North Wales.

The classical heart-throb, has sold one and a half million records, been at number one in the classical charts many times and performed on Broadway, will be taking centre stage at this year’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Boe, dubbed Britain’s Favourite Tenor, will be performing songs from musical theatre and movies at the glitzy evening concert on Thursday, July 9.

Joining him will be Welsh singer Sophie Evans, who went onto star as Dorothy in the West End production of The Wizard of Oz having finished runner-up in the TV talent show Over the Rainbow, classical saxophonist Amy Dickson along with Jonathan Antoine, the classically trained tenor who rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent. (more…)

Luciano Pavarotti

The Llangollen debut of opera great Luciano Pavarotti is clear in the memory of an International Musical Eisteddfod stalwart.

Retired nurse Hafwen Ryder was still a teenager at Llangollen Grammar School and a volunteer usher in the marquee where the Chorus Rossini from Modena in Italy performed to win the Male Voice Choir competition in 1955. Hafwen, 75,who now lives in Chirk, said: “I remember the choir performing and that they were very good but of course no-one knew who Pavarotti was then.

“I do have a limited edition picture of Pavarotti when he came back to the Eisteddfod in 1995 and I’m happy to loan that to the Pavarotti exhibition being staged at this year’s event in July.” (more…)

Volunteering at Llangollen helps illuminate lighting designer Mark’s career

HELPING out behind the scenes at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod since he was just 11 years old has helped Mark Jones shed light on a host of big entertainment occasions including this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

Because the knowledge and experience 31-year-old Mark gained by working as a backstage volunteer at the festival has been invaluable when it came to carving out a career as a professional lighting designer. (more…)

Visas harder to get for choirs as security is stepped up

IT CAN often be easier for soldiers of terror to travel around the world than it is for competitors at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to obtain visas to get into the UK.

That was the strong message from the Denbighshire clergyman who delivered the traditional reflection of the day from the Eisteddfod stage. (more…)

Noah brings the house down

Colores-5

American tenor Noah Stewart brought the house down and won a 10-minute standing ovation as he again sang in Welsh on stage at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. (more…)