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"The Hills Are Alive", Faenol 2007

 
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ElaineM
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: "The Hills Are Alive", Faenol 2007 Reply with quote

This was one of the most amazing concert I've ever seen! But I tried to contain my enthusiasm a bit while writing this, otherwise it would have been a long series of !!!!!!!s and and

If you click on the photos you can see the bigger version! They were taken without the flash, that's why sometimes they are a bit...blinding Very Happy
Ok let's paste everything!

With Bryn sharing the stage with four of the most talented musical theatre performers around, "The Hills are alive" promised to be a night of great entertainment.
Before the gates opened, the notes of some well-known tunes could be heard from the outside: Les Miserables, Phantom, Rodgers and Hammerstein...But I was there only for a short time before the gates opened, so I didn't really know what to expect - and I didn't want to know!
This is how the stage looked like:



The musicians took their seats...and a few minutes later the overture started; in tune with the name of the concert, it was "The Sound of Music". Then Bryn came on stage to introduce Connie Fisher; her first songs were "The hills are alive" (from...guess what? Yes! The Sound of Music) and "I have confidence". And she does have confidence: she sang - and acted - both songs proving that the chance she was given to "solve a problem like Maria" was well deserved...
She left the stage to the other Welshman of the evening, John Owen-Jones, for a song that was one of my personal highlights, Kander & Ebb's "Kiss of the Spider Woman"; he was in fine voice...but I'm starting to wonder if he is ever not!
Ruthie Henshall was next, with one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's best songs, "As if we never said goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard, before John Owen-Jones came back to duet with her in "The Last night of the world" from Miss Saigon.
Michael Ball was given a very warm welcome from the crowd: many people had come to see him from pretty much everywhere. He started his set with two songs he has performed many times. The first one was "This is the moment" from Jekyll & Hyde; he didn't try to "act" it (this is the song Jekyll sings before drinking his...whatever it is he drinks that transforms him in Mr Hyde), he just sang it as a pop song - but I'm not saying this is a bad thing...since in my opinion the musical doesn't make much sense anyway Wink ; the other one was "The boy from nowhere", first made famous, as he said, by Tom Jones: he obviously enjoys singing it, and we surely enjoyed watching him!




He recalled taking part in the very first Faenol, in 2000, ("...and they allowed me back!" he joked), before introducing his next song, "High flying, adored" from Evita.
Next was "The Show Must Go On". I love this song, always have...but I had a moment of "what's it doing here?" then I remembered about the Queen's musical...so maybe that's where it's from! No doubt about the next one though, "Tell me it's not true" from Blood brothers.
Then it was John Owen-Jones' turn again. I've always had a soft spot for him..."The Phantom of the Opera" was the first musical I saw in a theatre; he was the Phantom, and I remember thinking two things:
1) I know this song...it's Pink Floyd!!!! Echoes!!
and
2) This guy is amazing!!!!! Shocked
Those who had never had the pleasure of seeing him in that role (although there must be only a few people left on Earth who haven't, since he's done it for 1400 performances...and he managed to remain sane! Well, I hope so) were treated to a wonderful rendition of "The Music of the Night" that got one of the loudest cheers of the evening.



Three songs from "Chess" followed: "I know him so well", sung - beautifully - by Ruthie and Connie, "You and I" (Ruthie and Michael) and with "Anthem" Michael Ball closed the first part of the concert. I had enjoyed every minute of it, and it was only the first half! But where had Bryn gone??? Anyway, there were more urgent problems, like buying something very hot from one of the stands to avoid freezing! Next year, warmer trousers are a must.



Back to our seats, after the refueling (which took most of the interval! That thing in the photo is the queue for the...donut stand?!?!?).
The overture was promising...Rodgers & Hammerstein!!! Bryn was back, to sing "Some Enchanted Evening". And it really seemed to be an enchanted evening, with the full moon emerging from behind the trees, rising above the mountains of Snowdonia...





I'll never get tired of this song and the way Bryn sings it. That night his final "Once you have found her, never let her go..." even prompted some "aaawwwww"s from the ladies in the audience Very Happy
The next song didn't interrupt the "romantic" mood: it was "If I loved you" from Carousel. Ruthie started singing; Bryn came on stage, remaining at the side, looking sweetly at her while she was singing. Then he went towards her, singing the second verse, before she joined him at the end. Nice! Smile




Ruthie was then a passionate Eva Peron for "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina"; she left accompanied by a huge applause, leaving the stage to Connie Fisher, who sang "My favourite things". Oh and if you listen to the concert, and hear apparently random "ooohhhh"s and whistles, they're for the stunning dresses they were wearing Very Happy
There was one last song from The Sound of Music: "Something Good", a duet between Connie and Bryn. At the end they kissed, and Connie explained that she had accepted to do the concert on one condition...that she would have a few kisses from the men Very Happy so she introduced her "Raoul", Michael Ball ("and why do you think I came?" he said), who sang with her "All I ask of you" from Phantom.



Connie got the second kiss she had been promised - "I love my job", Michael joked, "I really love my job!"
Michael Ball in "fun mode" is always entertaining. He talked about Kismet, which he did at the ENO this summer; he said he had a great time doing it - "an interesting time", he said, barely containing the giggles (he recently trashed the production defining it as "shockingly, gloriously awful" and saying it felt "like being in a cross between Springtime for Hitler and Carry on Camel" Laughing )
But he added that he is not offered the "juvenile lead" roles anymore - being reduced to play 28 stone women (in Hairspray Laughing ) so, "in a last desperate attempt to cling to his past" he would sing two great songs from Kismet: "Stranger in Paradise" and "This is my beloved". I thought the latter was his best song that evening, and from their reaction I guess many women in the audience would have had nothing again casting him as the romantic lead Wink

Then Michael "hosted" a tribute to one of the most popular musicals in history, "Les Miserables".
I was very much looking forward to this bit: we had Michael Ball, who was the original, and, for many (including me), best Marius; Ruthie Henshall, who played Fantine at the 10th anniversary concert; John Owen-Jones, who we could almost say has inherited the crown of "best Valjean" (our...Valjean for the future Very Happy )...it was like being at some "dream cast" concert!
Michael introduced Ruthie Henshall as "the definitive Fantine" (for those who are not familiar with the story, well, she's maybe the most miserable of them all Laughing ), so I expected Fantine's solo...but no, she's probably had enough of that song, and sang "Own My Own" instead.
And then Bryn was on again; to sing "Stars", of course...




I really wish he would play Javert, be it in a concert or a fully staged performance. It might be that I always like the villains, but if his "Stars" is anything to go by he would be great in the role! And then don't we know he's good at playing evil policemen? Very Happy (ok, this one's not that evil, but still...)



Wow.
John Owen-Jones performed "Bring Him Home"; with this song he almost stops the show every night in the West End, and Michael Ball announced that night that John will soon be taking over as Valjean on Broadway (if someone wants to catch him while he's still in London...he's leaving on the 6th of October Very Happy )



One last solo: "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" sung by Michael (who better than him?) before everyone came back onstage to sing "One Day More"...




...always an amazing finale for a musicals show: at the end the crowd were on their feet, and luckily it wasn't really the end, because only the notes of another song could have stopped the applause!

The song was "Love Changes Everything", Michael Ball's signature song; he started alone, then asked the audience to sing, and then the other four joined in, each with a solo verse and then all together for the final chorus.

Time for the champagne...a good "pop", a screw cap that missed the head of an unsuspecting man in the audience by an inch (everybody realized except for him though) and then...do we want another encore? No need to ask! Back to Les Mis, which offers the best choice of rousing finales for a night like this, and we were all on our feet again, singing and cheering, and at the end giving a rapturous applause to the singers and the orchestra that had entertained us for two hours that we'll surely remember for a long time!



And it's great to know that they're already thinking about how to do better than this next year Very Happy
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Last edited by ElaineM on Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:50 pm; edited 2 times in total
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TER1310
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ornella, you are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much.
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ElaineM
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome! By the way you saw that I had quite liked the concert Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a brilliant review, thank you Ornella. I think you should be appointed the official Terfeliaid photographer!

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TER1280
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:49 pm    Post subject: Hills Are Alive Reply with quote

Hi, Ornella,

Thanks so much for that review! I felt like I was sitting beside you! As I have told you before....You are Wonder Woman!!!!!

Hugs,
Phyllis Smile
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ElaineM
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TER1272 wrote:
I think you should be appointed the official Terfeliaid photographer!

Laughing

Thank you! But...THESE are good photos! Go see them, they're great!!!!
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marilyn
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: Fabulous Reply with quote

Fabulous No other word for it, just got home having been away for the weekend and what a pleasure to read your review and the photos amazing. Think it is a great idea that you become one of the official photographers for the Terfeliaid. Would you let me have some of the photos I can see one that will be super for next years calendar. I am still waiting for the official photos and will try and post some of mine from the rehearsals this week.

Thanks a lot Ornella for your support.

Marilyn
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rueroops
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only one word Ornella - BRILLIANT!! Laughing
Gillian Laughing
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ElaineM
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Fabulous Reply with quote

marilyn wrote:
Think it is a great idea that you become one of the official photographers for the Terfeliaid.


Lol I had never even taken a picture at a concert before...before a couple of months ago Wink
I'd be honoured but I don't think I'm good at taking photos, these are not even that good...I'm good at buying good tickets though Laughing
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ElaineM
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: "The Hills Are Alive", Faenol 2007 Reply with quote

ElaineM wrote:
Time for the champagne...a good "pop", a screw cap that missed the head of an unsuspecting man in the audience by an inch (everybody realized except for him though)




I didn't have...the "evidence" for this...when Bryn was back with the bottles Wink

From Connie Fisher's website
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Daphne
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Ornella's photos Reply with quote

It might be a good idea to have Ornella as official photographer then she could use a proper camera instead of a mobile and not have to take them surreptitiously(?). She would have official status and possibly even a badge. She also writes wonderful reviews and will definitely have to stay here.
Best wishes
Daphne Smile
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TER1286
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic, Thanks!
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