Bryn Terfel to Perform at Artscape Opera House, 2-3 May
Internationally acclaimed Welsh opera and concert bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will perform two concerts only at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town on Friday, 2nd May and Saturday, 3rd May 2014. With a host of awards and accolades including a GRAMMY Award, a CBE and the Queen's Medal for Music to his name, Terfel is one of the most sought-after opera singers in the world.
In a unique international celebration, Terfel will be accompanied by the Cape Town Opera chorus, winners of the 2013 International Opera chorus award and 70-strong voices of the Wales Millennium Centre's Only Kids Aloud Chorus. The World premiere of "Spirit of Unity", a piece especially commissioned by Wales Millennium Centre, will be sung by this group of talented 9 to 13 year old singers from all over Wales, who were specifically auditioned for this tour. "Spirit of Unity" was written by Dr Paul Mealor to celebrate the end of Apartheid with the people of South Africa. This is a unique opportunity to hear over 120 voices on the opera stage and is one of the many celebrations marking Cape Town Opera's 15th Anniversary year. Managing Director, Michael Williams said, "The concert is the perfect gift from the people of Wales to all South Africans as we celebrate our 20 years of Democracy."
The Wales Millennium Centre and Cape Town Opera enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership that spans a decade. The partnership began when South African businessman Sir Donald Gordon donated £10m towards the Centre's development in 2003. One of the conditions of the donation was that the Centre established a relationship with a creative company in his home country. Bet Davies from Wales Millennium Centre said, "With the strong choral traditions in both Wales and South Africa, our partnership with Cape Town Opera is a perfect fit."
Bryn Terfel has performed in all the great opera houses of the world, and is especially recognised for his portrayals of Figaro, Falstaff and Wotan. He made his operatic début in 1990 as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte for the Welsh National Opera. His international operatic career began in 1991 when he sang the Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and in the same year he made his United States début as Figaro at the Santa Fe Opera. Other roles performed during his career include Holländer in Der fliegende Holländer, Méphistophélès in Faust, both the title role and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Jochanaan in Salome, Scarpia in Tosca, the title-role in Gianni Schicchi,Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Four Villains in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'Amore and the title role in Sweeney Todd.
Bryn is also known for his versatility as a concert performer, with highlights ranging from the opening ceremony of the Wales Millennium Centre, BBC's Last Night of the Proms, and the Royal Variety Show to a gala concert with Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, New York. Terfel has also performed with opera tenor, José Carreras and soprano Hayley Westenra, has given recitals in major cities around the world and for nine years hosted his own festival in Faenol, North Wales.
Terfel is a GRAMMY, Classical Brit and Gramophone Award winner with a discography encompassing operas of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, and he has recorded more than ten solo discs including Lieder, American musical theatre, Welsh songs and sacred repertory.
Off stage, Terfel is a passionate fan of both soccer and rugby and he particularly enjoys opening major international matches. In 1999, at the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup in Cardiff, he performed "World in Union" with singing star Shirley Bassey.
Last year Terfel made his debut at the Abu Dhabi Festival and the Royal Opera House, Muscat. He also performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and returned to the Sydney Opera House in recital. His new album with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in September 2013. Current plans include semi-staged performances of Sweeney Todd at the Lincoln Center, New York and at the Llangollen International Music Festival.
Bryn Terfel is known for a big, warm voice, intelligent and dramatically apt portrayals, and a six-foot-three-inch frame which all add up to a magnificent star presence you don't want to miss. Book now at Computicket. For further information and details of Cape Town Opera's scintillating 2014 season, visit www.capetownopera.co.za.
Photo by Mat Henneck