Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wales wins – in music, at least

The visit of Bass Baritone Bryn Terfel was a vocal highlight of 2009. Not only did we have the great pleasure of hosting the singer, but his parents, Nesta and Hefin, were here also, as a kind of birthday present for dad to see New Zealand, and they loved it as we did them. Great and lasting bonds were established. Both parents are singers (who in Wales is not) and for me it was a great pleasure to sing (as an impromptu), the Welsh National Anthem with them at the reception at Colin and Maree Reynolds' home in Auckland (hosted by The Opera Guild and Friends). Later in the evening, I was coerced into singing a duet of Po kare kare ana with Bryn. I have, still, no idea how this came about but concluded that as he had only just learned it he wanted a local ‘prop’. It was great, for me!

The Saturday concert in the Great Hall was a wonderful occasion and what a performance. Beautiful at full voice and beautiful in the softest and almost inaudible notes. Wonderful control and the clearest possible diction. We were blessed and thrilled with the occasion. Bryn was just the most engaging and easy mega star and we have been so fortunate to have had him here for this tour under the auspices of the NBR New Zealand Opera. Thank you Aidan for arranging this. Unforgettable.

Bryn opens soon in Tosca at Royal Covent Garden in the role of Scarpia. That will be a marvellous production I am sure.

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