It was the largest gathering of Welsh professional divas for some time – and it proved to be a musical event which will be celebrated for a long time to come.
And if you weren’t there at Venue Cymru, Llandudno for the great spectacular featuring 10 of Wales’ foremost sopranos and mezzo sopranos, you can enjoy all the glamour and great music on S4C in the show Cyngerdd y 10 Difa on Sunday, 8 January.
The ten divas who came to Llandudno just before Christmas were Elin Manahan Thomas, Shân Cothi, Leah-Marian Jones, Fflur Wyn, Gwawr Edwards, Catrin Aur, Elin Pritchard, Ellen Williams, Llio Evans and Eirlys Myfanwy Davies plus a full symphony orchestra led by conductor Andrew Greenwood.
And what a memorable mix of experience and youth this proved to be, as the audience enjoyed a tasty assortment of operatic arias, West End classics and Welsh favourites.
These included popular operatic favourites such as the laughing song from Die Fledermaus; Donizetti’s Chacun le sait (La Fille du Régiment); Welsh evergreen Hei-Ho and the evocative film favourite Gabriel’s Oboe.
One of the divas, Llio Evans, 29, from Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, says the experience will remain with her for years to come.
“It was an unforgettable spectacle that I thoroughly enjoyed and it was a huge privilege to work with so many talented singers. It is a total myth that singing divas are bitchy about each other.
“Here were 10 likeable, like-minded professional artists determined to have fun and pass on the joy of singing to the audience. The wide repertoire and high quality of the performances are testament to the calibre of talent in Wales,” said Llio, who is set for another busy year in 2017 performing in South Korea and the UK with Music Theatre Wales’ production of The Golden Dragon and working with two major opera companies, Garsington Opera and English National Opera.
The Ten Divas event follows the tremendous success of the Ten Tenors concert last Christmas at Venue Cymru. One of those 10 tenors, Aled Hall, was compere at this year’s spectacle. And all ten divas competed for the attention of the host tenor as they performed a Welsh translation of Bernstein’s classic, ‘I feel pretty’.
However, Aled, 48, from Pencader, Carmarthenshire, survived to tell the tale. “It was a night full of fun and mischief and it gave me great job satisfaction to be among so many glamorous women!
“Everyone got into the joyful mood with classics as ‘Hywel a Blodwen’ and Irving Berlin’s ‘Annie Get your Gun’ bringing a smile to everyone’s face.
“But much more than that, it was a night of glamour and glitz, and singing of the highest calibre, which shows how much musical talent is coming out of Wales.”