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Bryn at Cardiff Sunday

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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Bryn at Cardiff Sunday Reply with quote

What a wonderful start to Christmas. It was truly magical. A delight to be there. I sat enthralled throughout. It certainly made up for the horrendous start to the day and the 20 car pile I was caught up in on the M4 going towards Swansea yesterday morning. Fortunately, and that was a miracle in itself, apparently no-one one was seriously injured.

Bryn came on to the stage last night, (did he do the same on Saturday?) with a camera and "took a few snaps", to much laughter. After all he said he was now 40 and needed some memories!! Jools is I think going to send in a report so I won't steal her thunder by writing more. What was amazing too was the wealth of young talent in Wales. Apparently many of the musicians there last night were in their twenties. There is nothing to beat a live performance for the magic, and atmosphere and I am sure everyone wished it could have gone on for far longer.

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Joined: 11 Dec 2005
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Location: Cardiff

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definately! I went to see him Saturday night and it has made our Christmas!!! We were really lucky to speak to him after the show and he autographed our programmes - my gran was so thrilled as it was her 80th birthday present! Can't wait to see him again! Sioned Very Happy
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Pontardawe

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We arrived at the WMC half an hour early for our meal with Jools and Stephanja, so we pottered around in the shop for a bit. And who should we bump into, but them themselves? So we headed off to the Brazz. I’m sure the food was good, but I couldn’t work up much of an appetite. We chatted and the time flew by, so we made for the loos and then to the Donald Gordon theatre and our seats. We were in the centre stalls, about 10 rows back. The only dressing on the stage was a huge Christmas tree on the right hand side, and strangely, a balloon basket suspended high in the left hand corner. I can only assume that the latter came from The Wizard of Oz, which is on at the moment, but it did look odd. There were video cameras in some of the boxes and signs to say that the performance was being filmed, but the cameramen didn’t know what it was for (not S4C, anyway), so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Marilyn and her party arrived, but there was no chance to chat as the musicians soon started filling the strange – Sinfonia Cymru to the front and the choir, Serendipity, at the back. I wondered if there’d be any room for Bryn.
The orchestra began with ‘Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’, which but us in the mood. Then Bryn sort of wandered onto the stage, taking photos of us with a digital camera that looked tiny in his hands. He welcomed us to the theatre, explaining how much the stars at the Royal Variety Performance had loved it, and that he was quite fond of it and hoped we would be too. He told us that he needed the camera because now that he was 40 he needed to start building up his memories. He looked great in his long, collarless jacket. He had his little ‘Full Stop’ green badge on on the left hand side. He was on great form, looking really relaxed and at home.
He started with ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ and encouraged us to all join in. Then the choir joined him in ‘Tua Bethlehem Dref’ and, Andrew’s favourite, ‘Still, Still, Still’. Beautiful! Then he was gone and the orchestra galloped on with Dvorak’s ‘Slavonic Dance in G Minor. Op 48’ .
Sally Matthews came on to polite applause and gave us ‘Rejoice Greatly’ from the Messiah. She had on a beautiful red dress and her singing was lovely. Then it was back to the choir for ‘Tawel Nos’ and ‘I Orwedd Mewn Preseb’ (Welsh versions of ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Away in a Manger’).
Horaah! Bryn returned for a lovely version of ‘Ar hyd y nos’, punctuated by a chorus of coughing from all around the theatre that was so intense I’m surprise he managed not to laugh. He chatted a little more. Telling us of how much he felt like a Wagner expert these days, and giving us a little of the story of Tannhauser, and how the next song was performed 5 hours into the opera. He sang ‘O du main holder Abendstern’ so that the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. And afterwards he commented that after singing that there was only another hour or so of the opera to go. He finished the first half with ‘Impossible Dream’ from ‘Man of La Mancha’.
The interval flew by and before we knew it it was time to go back to our seats
Then Bryn was back, chatting again. He told us how during the Royal Variety Performance, Michael Parkinson had asked him to come on his chat show. He’d told Parky that he’d be too shy to talk (Much mirth from the audience), but that he’d be happy to sing, so that was agreed. He’d chosen some songs, only to be told that the host prefers to choose his own music and had plumped for ‘She was beautiful’ and ‘Panis Angelicus’. So Bryn was going to give us HIS choice, and sung ‘I’ll Walk Beside You’. I think it was at this point that he commented on the quality of the young orchestra (Cari spotted her music teacher from last year in the violins) and said that the future of Welsh music was safe in their hands. Then the choir joined him in ‘Deep River’ and ‘The Lord Bless you and keep you’.
Sally Matthews returned with an English version of Dvorak’s ‘Song to the Moon’, now wearing a slinky white number.
The next piece was the highlight of the evening for me. Bryn and Sally sang ‘Bess you is my woman now’, a song that has always moved me. It was a joy to watch Cari out of the corner of my eye. She had her mouth wide open through most of the song. She couldn’t help but let me know how amazed she was by the size of Bryn’s hands as he took one of Sally’s in his. It was over too soon and then the orchestra played ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ from Harry Potter.
The finale was billed as ‘A Yuletide Festival’, and was basically the same as the one on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir DVD. Andrew hasn’t seen this, and as the choir got going he grimaced and wrote ‘Disney!’ on his ticket. In spite of it all being a bit sugary everyone had a lot of fun.
For his encore Bryn gave us ‘My Little Welsh Home’, and then a rugby ball was thrown in from the wings. He told us that it had been signed by the South African team, and although we had done well in that match we hand won. He said that he’d been amused to hear the crowd singing ‘They only win when Bryn’s singing!’ (to the tune of Guntalamera (sp?)) before the Australia match. The ball was a gift for Donald Gordon, who happened to be in ‘his’ theatre. Bryn invited him on to the stage to enjoy it from a performer’s point of view. So, Sir Donald, and the rest of the audience, joined Bryn in one last rendition of ‘White Christmas’ and it was all over.
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