ROVING CHOIR PERFORMS at VENUES LARGE and SMALL
Press Release 19 May 2006
Busy summer for Morriston Orpheus
It will be a summer of celebration for Swansea’s internationally-acclaimed Morriston Orpheus Choir as they embark on their early summer programme which includes the Choir’s 71st birthday, and a celebration of the Welsh National Anthem.
On May 29th, the Morriston Orpheus, will reunite with 80s band The Alarm to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Welsh National Anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, (Land of My Fathers) at a performance in Pontypridd. Some of the other participants include Max Boyce, Aled Jones, Huw Edwards, Sian Cothi, Roy Noble, Hayley Westenra and Derek Brockway. The show will be televised by the BBC to celebrate the writing of the National Anthem by Evan James and James James of Pontypridd 150 years ago.
The Choir will return to its roots with a performance at the Burry Port Memorial Hall on June 3rd, with the Burry Port band.
On June 10th, the Orpheus will be on home turf at the splendid Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, where they will join up with some illustrious guests to mark their 71st anniversary.
Wrexham-born soprano Camilla Roberts, and tenor Rhys Meirion, will be guests of the Morriston Orpheus for the concert. Tickets at £12, £10, £6, are available from the Grand Theatre booking office on 01792 475715.
In addition to these concerts, the choir is also performing a fundraising concert for their Vice President, Lord Heseltine and Lady Heseltine at St Lawrence Church, Marston St. Lawrence, near Banbury on May 20th. This fund raising concert is in aid of the Katharine House Hospice, Adderbury.
Choir spokesman Clive Williams said: “It’s going to be a very busy time for the Morriston Orpheus over the next month or so, as we celebrate two important anniversaries.
“We hope our loyal supporters will join us in these celebrations and make it a summer to remember.”
Notes to Editors
Guest Soloists at the Annual Concert of Morriston Orpheus Choir
1. Camilla Roberts, Soprano
Camilla Roberts was born in Wrexham. Having graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with GSMD BMus Hon and GSMD PG Dip Mus, she subsequently attended the Guildhall Opera Course, studying with Laura Sarti, sponsored by The Arts Council of Wales and the Countess of Munster Trust. In 2003 she completed further post-graduate studies at the National Opera Studio, London, sponsored by Welsh National Opera.
In June 2004 Camilla won the Welsh Singers Competition and went on to represent Wales in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2005 Competition. Other awards include the inaugural Kenneth Loveland Gift, Harold Rosenthal Award and the WNO Chris Ball Bursary.
Camilla’s first professional operatic engagement was with Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2002 when she understudied the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Micäela in Carmen for Glyndebourne on Tour. In 2003, Camilla joined Welsh National Opera as an Associate Artist where her roles included Micäela in Carmen , Blumenmädchen in Parsifal , Diane in Iphigenie en Tauride and Laura in Iolanta.
Camilla has appeared in the major concert halls of Britain, most recently at the Barbican with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square and St David’s Hall, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She has toured Australia and New Zealand including concerts in Brisbane and Auckland. Her concert repertoire is extensive and includes Beethoven 9th, Verdi Requiem and R.V. Williams Sea Symphony. Recent recitals include the North Wales International Music Festival, Cheltenham International Festival of Music, Fishguard Festival and at the University of Wales. Recordings include a CD of Viennese arias with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other recent engagements include Anna in Nabucco for Opera North, a role she also recorded for the Chandos Label, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin for Opera Holland Park, Anna in Le Villi for Chelsea Opera, the understudy of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for Opera North, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Barbican in London conducted by David Parry. Future plans include Marenka The Bartered Bride for Music Theatre Wales and First Lady Die Zauberflöte for Opera North.
2. Rhys Meirion, Tenor
Born in Wales, Rhys Meirion graduated as a Bachelor of Education and worked as a head-teacher before beginning his training as a singer. From 1997 to 1999 he was a member of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and currently studies with Gerald Moore.
In 1999, Rhys joined the English National Opera Jerwood Young Singers Programme and was subsequently a Company Principal from 2001 – 2004. His roles included Rodolfo La Boheme, Alfredo La Traviata, Nemorino L’Elisir d’Amore, Nadir The Pearl Fishers, Marcello in Leoncavallo’s La Boheme, Duke Rigoletto, Tebaldo Capuletti e Montecchi , Tamino The Magic Flute , title role in Ernani, Sailor Tristan und Isolde, Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi, Italian Singer Der Rosenkavalier, Froh Das Rheingold, and Zinovy Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk.
In 2002 Rhys made his Australian debut as Rodolfo La Boheme for West Australian Opera, and his European debut as Rodolfo for Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt-am-Main. In 2004 he sang the title role in Gounod’s Faust with the Hong Kong Opera Society.
Concert highlights include his BBC Prom debut at the opening night of the 2001 BBC Proms, televised on BBC 2, gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London with Bryn Terfel, Desert Island Discs Anniversary Concert at Royal Festival Hall, London, live BBC recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony conducted by Richard Hickox and Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Rhys has appeared at the Henley Festival, Cheltenham Festival, North Wales Festival, Swansea Festival and in concerts in Barbados, Toronto, Ottawa and Florida.
Recent recordings include a duet album with Bryn Terfel entitled Benedictus on the SAIN record label. He has also released two solo CD recordings for SAIN, and a CD entitled Bluebird of Happiness for the Australian label, Stanza AV. Television appearances include Handel’s Messiah broadcast on Channel 4 Wales.
Recent engagements include Rodolfo La Boheme for Opera Australia, whilst future plans include Pinkerton Madam Butterfly for English National Opera and The Lithuanian National Opera and Alfredo La Traviata for English National Opera.
3. The Choir holds rehearsals on Wednesday and Sunday evenings
4. Further information may be obtained from Clive G Williams, Sian Pearce on 01639 631684 or 07921 776613.