Previews & Reviews
Thursday, August 5th, 2004 UK

News Menu Button Superstars in Faenol line-up

By Alec Doyle, Wrexham Mail

BRYN Terfel
has announced that the fifth annual Faenol Festival will go ahead as planned and tickets for the three-day event are on sale now.

Organisers have confirmed that the much-vaunted young Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja and critically-acclaimed baritone Simon Keenlyside will appear alongside superstars Jamie Cullum and Jools Holland.

They will be joined on the bill by an array of internationally-renowned young artists making their festival debuts this August Bank Holiday.

Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum will headline on Saturday, August 28, the opening night of the festival. It's the first time the two stars have appeared on the same stage and fans are sure of a night to remember from two of the UK's biggest-selling artists - Cullum, the current king of swing, and Holland, one of the best boogie-woogie pianists in the world.

Twenty-six-year-old Joseph Calleja is recognised as one of the most exciting young tenors in the world today and stars with Bryn in the Gala Opera Night on Bank Holiday Sunday.

His fabulous belcanto technique won the Caruso Award in 1998 and he attracted rave reviews when he stood in for Jose Cura in a production of Il Trovatore at the Royal Opera House two years ago.

Last year's Gala Opera Night was widely recognised as being the launch pad for Hayley Westenra's incredible success story - she's sold more than 800,000 records since - and Bryn maintains that commitment to younger talent again this year, performing with some of the world's top young stars in classical music.

Bryn and his friend, star baritone Simon Keenlyside, will share the stage with the young Swedish mezzo-soprano Malena Emman, 26-year-old Italian soprano Desiree

Rancatore and 17-year-old Chloe Hanslip, who at five years old was invited to the exclusive Yehudi Menuhin school by the master himself. Gareth Jones will conduct the Sinfonia Cymru.

Bank Holiday Monday's Dragon's Fire programme presents another fabulous evening of Welsh pop and rock. A host of top Welsh artists, including Dafydd Iwan and his band and 70s favourites Hergest, from Aberystwyth, are booked to appear.

There will also be a special appearance of the original cast from the 1974 production of the rock opera Nia Ben Aur.

Bryn Terfel said: 'I'm delighted the festival is able to go ahead again this year. It's our fifth year and a tremendous weekend for music-lovers, so I'm very grateful for all the local support we received to make it happen.'

The Faenol Festival, voted the Greatest Show In Wales 2001 at the Welsh Tourism Awards, now regularly attracts more than 20,000 people to the Faenol Estate at the foot of Mount Snowdon in Gwynedd.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive well in advance of the main concerts and enjo7y a variety of entertainment.

Concert-goers can picnic in the extensive grounds and there are bar and catering facilities available throughout the evening.

Each day concludes with a spectacular firework display.

Last year's event was almost completely sold out with organisers and police requesting at one point that people without tickets should not come to the site.

This year organisers are once more advising festival-goers to get their tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Ticket prices are as follows: Saturday, August 28 - Jools Holland/Jamie Cullum, seats £35, promenade £25. Sunday, August 29 - The Gala Opera Evening, seats £38, promenade £21.50. Monday, August 30 - promenade £17.50, under-16's £10.50. Tickets are available from North Wales Theatre on 01492 872000, Theatr Gwynedd on 01248 351708 and Silver Star Holidays on 01286 672 333.

Article link thanks to Jon Voslo

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