Em Barret named as the 2018 WELSH MUSICAL THEATRE YOUNG SINGER OF THE YEAR
Wales, known affectionately as "The Land Of Song", has a long tradition of providing the West End with stellar musical theatre performers - including a number of winners of the Welsh Musical Theatre Young Singer Of the Year title, such as Connie Fisher (The Sound Of Music), Kit Orton (Spamalot), Luke McCall (The Phantom Of The Opera) and Olivier Award winner David Thaxton (Les Miserables, Passion).
So it should be no surprise that last night's final of the 2018 Welsh Musical Theatre Young Singer Of The Year competition at the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea showcased the talents of four wonderfully gifted young performers.
Em Barrett, Eimear O'Riordan, Ffion Edwards and Leah Pinney each displayed great skill and talent in performing programmes with numbers which ran the gamut of the musical theatre repertoire from Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady through to Waitress and Hamilton - and even included songs from some "lesser known" musicals such as Steve Dorff and John Bettis' "Lunch" and Mark Allen, Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman's "Band Geeks".
The unenviable task of choosing a winner from these four highly talented young ladies fell to adjudicators Vivien Care, Clear Hammacott and Michael Morwood, who decided that the 2018 winner of the coveted title was Em Barrett - a graduate of the University of York originally from Guildford, currently studying for a Master's degree in Musical Theatre at the Royal Welsh College Of Music And Drama.
The contestants throughout the evening were accompanied on piano by highly renowned pianist, musical arranger and conductor Jeffrey Howard. The audience was also treated to performances by the Dunvant Male Choir (the founders and organisers of the competition since its inception in 2005 and stalwart supporters of Musical Theatre in Wales and beyond) and by the 2017 winner of the title, Ben Thomas.
The 18-year-old returning competition winner, who is set to begin studies at the Mountview Academy Of Performing Arts in September, delivered vocally exquisite renditions of Rodgers And Hammerstein's "Younger Than Springtime", Bernstein and Sondheim's "Maria", Stephen Schwartz's "Lost In The Wilderness" and Shaiman and Wittman's "Goodbye" - providing ample proof that the future of musical theatre performing in the "Land Of Song" is in very safe hands.