S4C will broadcast a two hour long highlights programme from the Bryn Terfel music festival which is to be held at the Southbank in London.
He’s happy that S4C are broadcasting Bryn Terfel: Gŵyl y Byd (Bryn Terfel: Festival of the World) on Sunday, 15 July, at 8.00pm, as it gives the channel’s viewers an opportunity to have a taste of Brynfest, which, he says, gives a platform to Welsh talent in London.
“I’m looking forward to Brynfest,” says Bryn. “At any time, it’s a privilege and an honour to perform on such a wonderful stage at the Royal Festival Hall but to be invited to stage a festival here over four nights is fantastic, especially when you’re able to choose your favourites. I’ve never before had four consecutive concerts here. I’m pretty excited and chuffed about it!
“It’s an important time for London with the Olympic Games on the horizon. It offers a platform for the Welsh to show our talent, and to show off our young talent. There will be something for everyone here,” said the 46 year old internationally-acclaimed opera star from Pantglas in Gwynedd. Wales does nurture some wonderfully talented people.
“I’m also happy that S4C will be here and broadcasting highlights of Brynfest so that people at home can also enjoy it. There will be some wonderful performers appearing on stage, and I want to share that. Hopefully, we’ll put on a great show.”
Starting on Wednesday 4 July, Brynfest will include an evening of music from the Golden Age of Broadway with a glittering cast of West End stars and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera. There will also be an Opera Gala, again with the Orchestra and Chorus of Welsh National Opera, an evening in the company of musician Gruff Rhys from Bethesda, formerly of the Super Furry Animals; a performance by jazz musician Huw Warren from Porthmadog, and a concert featuring 500 singers drawn from male voice choirs around the world, accompanied by the Cory Brass Band. A new work by Karl Jenkins, a Hero’s Journey, will also be performed for the first time during this evening.
Young Welsh singers will also get an opportunity to perform during the festival, and Bryn himself will pick up the baton and conduct a large choir of enthusiastic voices to sing some Welsh musical classics on the banks of the River Thames on the festival’s last night.
Bryn is especially looking forward to the Opera Gala, when he’ll be sharing the stage at the Royal Festival Hall with the Orchestra and Chorus of Welsh National Opera under the baton of Gareth Jones. The other singers joining him on stage will be the soprano Oskana Dyka from the Ukraine, tenor Lawrence Brownlee from the United States and mezzo soprano Nino Surguladze from Tbilisi in Georgia.
“I’ve sung in a production of Tosca with Oskana and I was enchanted with her voice,” says Bryn. “And young tenor Lawrence Brownlee is sure to bring the house down. He’s going to be singing an aria which contains 36 tops ‘C’s!
“After Brynfest, I’m going immediately to Munich to sing the role of Baron Scarpia in Tosca, and then I hope to have a short holiday in Spain with the children before returning to London to sing the role of Wotan, King of the Gods, in a production of the complete Ring Cycle by Wagner.”
The Ring is made up of four operas and Bryn will sing in three of them. “To be able to sing the full Ring Cycle at the Royal Opera House is something I have dreamt of since a very young age. This is the fulfillment of that dream.
“I’m excited and yet really afraid of what’s in front of us, of what will happen on this journey. This is my Everest.”
He says that he is by now well used to dealing with the enormous pressure on him as he sings at some of the world’s best known opera stages. “It’s pure enjoyment but also very hard work, there’s no two ways about it.”
Bryn says that he has doesn’t intend to follow in the footsteps of Tom Jones who’s still performing at the age of 72.
“I’m not going to go on for ever! I can see that fishing boat and that golf course. I’ll be hitting that little white ball on a wonderful course in the sun, knowing that my work is done.”