gather for Faenol Festival
Elly Roberts Wrexham Mail
SUNDAY night, more than 10,000 people descended
on the Faenol Estate near Bangor to experience the
Opera Gala Night at Bryn Terfel's fourth Faenol
faces amongst the crowd included former Plaid Cymru
leader Dafydd Wigley and Wales manager Mark Hughes.
Spanish women made a pilgrimage from their homeland
just to hear Jose Carreras make his North Wales
debut, and with the stage flanked by the northern
caps of the Snowdonia National Park, it made a fitting
backdrop for the award-winning festival.
tenor Carreras topped the bill alongside local hero
Bryn Terfel and 16-year-old New Zealander Hayley
magnificent Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera,
conducted by Carreras's nephew David Gimenez, opened
the proceedings with Bernstein's Overture from Candide,
followed by Terfel's rendition of the Toreador Song
from the classic opera Carmen.
years ago, Terfel was unable to sing due to a throat
infection, but he made up for the disappointment
with a wonderfully disciplined and rich performance,
roared on by the enthusiastic crowd.
then followed with two relatively unknown pieces
by Serenata Napolitana and Era de Maggio, and despite
his health scare of some years ago, he proved he
is still able to deliver a consummate performance.
by contrast with Terfel, Carreras's range is limited
and he lacks the stage presence of Pavarotti.
introduction of teenage sensation Hayley Westenra
turned out to be a refreshing point in the show,
and her choice of Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu brought
the programme to life as she highlighted her natural
ability to control higher and lower range notes
then sung a stunning Maori lullaby entitled Hine
e Hine (Little One), and it was undoubtedly the
musical high-point of the night.
maturity and further training, Westenra is destined
for hugely a successful career.
second period was Terfel's showcase, with a rich
and tender adaptation of Hopkins's Bugeilio'r Gwenith
Gwyn and songs from Ennio Morricone's soundtrack
to the classic film Cinema Paradiso.
official programme ended in typical Spanish flavour
as Terfel and Carreras sung Granada which thrilled
the crowd with every note and gesture.
to the massive response, there was an extended encore
that included Some Enchanted Evening and Westenra's
Amazing Grace, which capped a wonderful night for
the debutant as she stole the show.
spectacular firework display concluded the evening
as the Welsh national anthem rang out into the valleys
Trinity Newspapers - Thanks to Keith S for locating