All have sung at prestigious venues such as Glyndebourne, and Carly Owen is in line to represent Wales at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
For the first time in its history, two orchestras will take the stage during this year’s Conwy Classical Music Festival.
The event, which is one of the largest in Wales not to charge for admission, runs from 21st to 28th July and is expanding this year with extra concerts.
The Festival orchestra, which has been a feature of the annual event since its inception fourteen years ago, will perform in its usual Monday night slot on July 23rd.
On the programme will be Britten’s Simple Symphony and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, along with Bottesini’s Gran Duo Concertante.
Soloists in this work will be Paul Barritt, Guest Leader of the Halle Orchestra and Roberto Carello Garcia, principal Double Bass with the Halle. All members of the orchestra play with the leading orchestras of the North West.
A new departure this year will be a concert by Conwy’s very own Town Orchestra. The Orchestra was founded seven years ago, and under the baton of Rosie Hearn, has grown to be a versatile ensemble of over forty players drawn from a wide area of North Wales.
They will open the festival on the evening of Saturday, July 21st with a programme featuring Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in A minor, and Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony.
Chris Roberts, festival director commented: “the festival has always very much been a community event, but one which aims to bring high quality music to the town. We’re pleased that the Conwy Town Orchestra are taking their place in a programme alongside some of Britain’s top talent.”
Another highlight of the week will be a Night at the Opera on the evening on Tuesday, July 24th. Elgan Llyr Thomas, from Craig y Don, who is widely regarded as one of Britain’s most promising young tenor voices, will be joined by former Ysgol John Bright pupil Michaela Parry, Carly Owen from Caernarfon and Meilir Jones from Anglesey.
Also promising to be a highlight is a concert by the London-based early music specialists The Marian Consort on the evening of Friday, July 27th. They will perform Allegri’s famous setting of ‘Miserere’ as part of their programme.
Chamber music will be well represented, with concerts by The Fitzsimmon Ensemble, The Manchester Ensemble and Ensemble Cymru. Amongst composers whose works will be performed are Mozart, Beethoven, Glinka, and Mendelssohn, whose much-admired Octet will feature in The Manchester Ensemble’s programme.
Altogether over five hundred years of music will feature in the week-long event, ranging from Renaissance polyphony through to songs from the shows and a male voice choir.
The festival is run by people from the historic town of Conwy and relies only on audience donations and sponsorship. Its work in promoting local talent from the area and in developing the cultural life of North Wales has won it the praise of celebrities in the music world such as Bryn Terfel and royal composer Paul Mealor.
Chris Roberts added: “I am pleased that once again we are able to offer a broad range of concerts with something hopefully to appeal to everyone.
“Many of the performers at this year’s festival are building their musical careers. Who knows, the singers and instrumentalists on stage in Conwy this year may be those to listen out for in the future!
“This year, there’s an increased emphasis on showcasing a new generation of young singers from the area who have shown such promise that they have their own concert.
“18 year old Fu Lian Doble, Florence Kaiser, who is 17, and 14 year old Steffan Llewelyn are all members of the choir at St Mary’s church in Conwy, and will present a morning concert on July 23rd.”
In addition, soprano Erin Gwyn and tenor Ryan Davies will be performing operatic arias and song from the shows on Wednesday 25th July at lunchtime, whilst on Friday, July 27th, baritone John Ieuan Jones will join his former singing teacher Sian Wyn Gibson to perform at the lunchtime slot, with Annette Bryn Parri at the piano.
Chris Roberts commented: “the event has always aimed to put Conwy on the map and help attract people to the area. We hope the programme for this fourteenth year will be better than ever for the town.
“The festival wouldn’t happen without the support of the people of Conwy. Local businesses sponsor the concerts, and people living in the area help keep the costs down by letting visiting performers stay in their spare bedrooms.”
Concerts take place in the historic St Mary’s church in the centre of Conwy. The Conwy Classical Music Festival begins on Saturday July 21st and runs for a week.