Friday, 27th August, 2004

News Menu Button Jools and Jamie share stage for festival

Daily Post

POSSIBLY the last ever Bryn Terfel Faenol Festival takes place this weekend.

The opening night of the festival sees mainstream jazz and blues's favourite pianist performers Jamie Cullum and Jools Holland share the stage.

This will be the first time for the two to appear on the same stage, one the current king of Sinatra-type jazz with a twist, the other one of the best boogie-woogie pianists in the world, and both among the UK's biggest selling artists.

Always the festival's crowning glory is the Gala Opera night on the Sunday evening which has seen Bryn sing with the likes of Jose Carreras, Renee Fleming, Lesley Garrett and Hayley Westenra. This year the Faenol audience will be introduced to a tenor who has been described as Pavarotti's natural successor, Joseph Calleja.

Although still only 26 Calleja has already caught the ear of opera aficionados and the power and maturity of his voice has simply enthralled the classical world.

Joining Bryn and Calleja will be internationally renowned baritone Simon Keenlyside, Italian soprano Desiree Rancatore, Swedish mezzo-soprano Malena Erman and teenage vionlinist Chloe Hanslip. At just 16 Hanslip's burgeoning reputation will be bolstered by being the first instrumentalist to be given a spot at the Faenol. She is already held in high esteem having been invited to join the exclusive Yehudi Menuhin School by the master himself when she was only five.

Bank Holiday Monday's Tan Y Ddraig that sees the original cast of 1974's rock opera Nia Ben Aur get back together and 70s favourite's Hergest reform for the night. Tan y Ddraig (Dragon's Fire) also hosts the legendary Dafydd Iwan, BAFTA award winner Ryland Teifi, Can I Gymru (Song For Wales) winner Elin Fflur, girl band Pheena and S4C's Rhydian Bowen Phillips.

Bryn is joined by Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum on Saturday, opera stars Joseph Calleja, Simon Keenlyside, Malena Erman, Desiree Rancatore and violinist Chloe Hanslip on Sunday, and by a host of Welsh music stars including Dafydd Iwan, Hergest and the cast of Nia Ben Aur on Monday.

* Tickets are available from North Wales Theatre, 01492 872000, Theatre Gwynedd 01248 351708 and Silver Star Holidays on 01286 672333.

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