12:02pm Wednesday 11th September 2013
Milford Haven’s 12th annual Music Festival got off to a splendid start at The Torch Theatre on Saturday with the 24th Gala Charity Concert concert featuring the Three Welsh Tenors, with the support of two celebrity artistes.
This opening concert sponsored by South Hook LNG Co Ltd and presented by Milford Haven Round Table was in aid of Prostate Cymru’s bid to buy a state-of-the-art robotic surgery machine, which Wales currently lacks, but England has 48.
The three tenors, Rhys Meirion, Aled Hall and Alun Rhys-Jenkins, opened with a rousing medley of Welsh favourites, “Cwm Rhondda,” “Myfanwy” and “Gwahoddiad,” before introducing the brilliant 14-year-old Cardiff violin virtuoso, Charlie Lovell-Jones, who captivated a large and appreciative Torch audience with his flying fingers and breathtaking bow work in Saint Saens “Rondo Capriccioso,” his father, Simon, providing piano accompaniment.
Award-winning Pontypridd-born soprano Menna Cazel thrilled with Gounod’s “Je Veux Vivre” and Gianni Schicchi’s lovely “O mio babbino caro.” both of which showed off her beautiful vocal quality and range.
The three tenors joined her for a humorous quartet before the interval.
Just back from a triumphant appearance at the North American Welsh Festival in Toronto, the three tenors, accompanied by the talented Caradog Williams, resumed with musical show numbers in close harmony - “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Edelweiss” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Charlie Lovell-Jones then demonstrated more brilliant violin skills with “Beau Soir” by Debussy and “Souvenirs d’Amerique” by Vieuxtemps before ending with a scintillating rendering of “Sicilienne” as an encore. The tenors highlighted the skills of their brilliant accompanist by singing his arrangement of a Saunders Lewis poem, before joining Menna Cazel in the comic Welsh song “Hywel a Blodwen.” They introduced more humour with a medley of rugby songs with enthusiastic audience participation and Menna Cazel then closed a memorable concert with “What Good Would The Moon Be.” by Weill and Lehar’s kissing song, The artistes and accompanists were accorded a justly deserved and prolonged final ovation.
The talented Bute Brass Ensemble makes a welcome return visit to St Katharine’s Church this evening (Tues), tickets £5 or six for £25 with a free workshop at Milford Haven School today. Thursday features a free Young Musicians’ Platform at the school at 7.30pm while the final concert, sponsored by Valero and featuring The Morriston Orpheus Choir, directed by Joy Amman Edwards, baritone Gary Griffiths, vocalist Osian Bowen and pianist James Southall will be staged at The Torch at 7.30pm on Saturday, admission £25.
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