CROWDS at the Llangollen Eisteddfod were brought to their feet to deliver a roaring standing ovation following a breathtaking performance of Puccini’s Tocsa.
Internationally renowned opera stars Sir Bryn Terfel, Kristine Opolais and Kristian Benedikt shared the stage at for the very first time to deliver the powerful and unique rendition of the dramatic love story.
The performance at the International Eisteddfod, sponsored by Pendine Park, featured three of the opera world’s most admired talents, accompanied by the acclaimed Welsh National Opera orchestra, and it saw a successful end to the second day of the 70th anniversary festival.
Much-loved bass-baritone Sir Bryn returned to the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in the role of Baron Scarpia, who was in pursuit of Lithuanian tenor Benedikt’s Cavaradossi.
Taking the title role, soprano Opolais brought rare dynamism to Tosca, helping to create an unforgettable performance, conducted by Gareth Jones.
The world-class line-up also featured rising young talent, including locally-recruited Joseph Elwy Jones as the Shepherd Boy and North Wales baritone Steffan Lloyd Owen, who is only the second student from the Royal Northern College of Music to ever win the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award. The cast was also joined by students from Ysgol Maes Garmon in Mold, who performed in the chorus.
Music director of the Llangollen Eisteddfod Eilir Griffiths said: “This was an adventurous project for the Llangollen Eisteddfod to undertake and what a roaring success it was – the entire cast were spectacular.
“From the world class artists and bourgeoning local talent, to the subtle staging and stunning video work, this wonderful opera was brought perfectly to life.
“The performance combined the excellence and expertise of its Welsh and international team, highlighting both the Llangollen Eisteddfod’s ability to attract global artists and showcasing the country’s intrinsic talent.”