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Peter's wolf howls in Welsh for the first time

14/10/2013

The tale of the brave boy and the nasty wolf is well-love by children across the globe but this year for the first time children in Wales can enjoy the story of Peter and the Wolf in Welsh thanks to the actor, Rhys Ifans.

In a special event at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday 16 October Ensemble Cymru will perform the magical music and the story that's been translated into Welsh by poet Gwyn Thomas will be narrated by none other than the world-famous Welsh born actor Rhys Ifans. Images by illustrator Marc Vyvyan Jones will also be projected on screen during the performance.

Joining Rhys and Pedr's show (Pedr's Welsh for Peter) at Venue Cymru will be the popular and mischievous character from S4C's Cyw Service, Dona Direidi! Starring in a short film before the orchestra's performance along with a live rap of Gareth Glyn's composition, Dona will also be sparking the imaginations of the children in the audience.

The piece was composed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1936 and the Ukrainian's hope was to create a piece which would introduce children to the orchestra for the first time. He set about doing this by representing each character in the story with an instrument; the flute represents the bird, the oboe is the duck, the cat is played by the clarinet and the grandfather is represented by the orchestra's bassoon. Three French horns play the nasty wolf, while the strings represent Peter, and the tympani and bass drum are the hunter and the shots of his rifle!

During the week running-up to Christmas five short programmes introducing each instrument in Pedr a'r Blaidd will be broadcast on S4C's Awr Fawr. And a behind the scenes programme with Cyw presenter Trystan Ellis-Morris travels to Russia to learn about the story behind the score and to play on Prokofiev's piano before the concert is broadcast on S4C on Christmas Day.

Sioned Wyn Roberts, Content Commissioner for S4C said:

"When the pitch for the programme landed on my desk I didn't even read the second paragraph – I knew straight away that I wanted this programme to be commissioned. It's such an exciting and interesting idea and it will be fantastic to have this classic in Welsh for the first time, with Dona Direidi and Rhys Ifans thrown in the mix as well! It will also be a great way for us to introduce S4C's Cyw Service to a new audience."

Peryn Clement-Evans, Artistic Director at Ensemble Cymru said:

"Everyone at Ensemble Cymru, resident ensemble at Bangor University and Venue Cymru, are very excited at the prospect of seeing the production come together at last. To bring this story which is known across the globe and Prokofiev's amazing music to families across Wales on television, CD and through live performances is something that we wouldn't have thought possible at the start of this project three years ago.

"We're also really looking forward to hearing the pinkest rapper in Wales performing Gareth Glyn's music with the Ensemble Cymru orchestra with the help of children of course. I'm sure Dona Direidi will be showing a few members of the orchestra how it's done!"

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