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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 August, 2004, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Bryn urges flares for festival
Bryn Terfel on the Faenol estate
Bryn Terfel said he is thinking of a 'fringe' Faenol for future festivals
Bryn Terfel's popular Faenol music festival is going back in time this weekend.

One of the highlights of this year's show, held near Caernarfon, north Wales, is a revival of a 1970s Welsh rock opera with the original cast.

And opera star Terfel is encouraging festival-goers to turn up in full 1970s gear for Nia Ben Aur, which was first performed 30 years ago.

"I'd even like people to dress up in 70s clothing!" said Terfel.

Jazz performers Jamie Cullum and Jools Holland were the other big attractions of the weekend.

Holland and best-selling singer and pianist Cullum headlined on the Saturday night, with more than 8,000 tickets sold already.

"Jamie Cullum is having a wonderful time, with his album going double platinum before Christmas," said Terfel.

Jamie Cullum performing at the V Festival earlier this month
Jamie Cullum takes in the Faenol during a hectic schedule

"I met him before the Proms in London and hinted that I'd like him at my festival.

"And it's come true, which isn't easy because he's very busy and this will be his 10th successive concert."

"This year, we've veered off the road," he added of the jazz theme, alongside the classical and Welsh rock line-up.

"I have to bring something new every year, hence we're having a big band, jazz and blues evening."

The Gala Opera Night on Sunday will again feature more young talent, with tenor Joseph Calleja appearing with Terfel, as well as 17-year-old violinist Chloe Hanslip.

Bass baritone Terfel said that for the fifth year of the festival on the Faenol estate he has responded to requests to bring in giant screens to show performers close-up.

"It's wonderful to wear an entrepreneur's hat for a change - it's something different from what I do for the rest of the year.

"It's something I wanted to do for the location - and the artists that have come here have enjoyed it and return for holidays."

Looking ahead

"Artists tend to by-pass venues in Wales, particularly in north Wales and so, if I have a chance, I can bring in artists like Jools Holland and last year Jose Carreras."

On the final evening on Bank Holiday Monday, the original cast of 1974 Welsh rock opera Nia Ben Aur reform for the Dragon's Fire concert, with the addition of singer Dafydd Iwan and 70s favourites Hergest, from Aberystwyth.

The story is about Nia, who has fallen in love with Osian from Ireland - but he wants to return after they get married.

Terfel said he is already thinking about next year's festival and said he hopes a "fringe" Faenol might be established.

"There's a new little theatre which is being built in Caernarfon which could be a good element to the festival," he said.

"We're already looking ahead."

Terfel festival to go ahead
12 May 04  |  Wales
Bryn Terfel festival 'crisis'
07 May 04  |  North West Wales


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