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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 November 2005, 17:28 GMT
Terfel 'to take year off opera'
Bryn Terfel
Terfel says he finds it hard to find time to be at home with his family
Bryn Terfel, one of Wales' biggest international singing stars, has revealed that he is thinking of taking a year off from opera.

The bass baritone, who turned 40 this year, is in demand for his commanding voice at venues worldwide.

But in an interview for BBC Radio Cymru he admits finding it hard to spend so much time away from his wife and sons.

Terfel reveals he may have a year free of the opera stage in 2008 to concentrate on some other projects.

He tells broadcaster Dei Tomos: "The importance of opera is slipping from the diary and there may be a change in 2008.

"I want a year that's clear of opera, to concentrate on concerts and radio and TV work."

Dad sings in lots of different places in the world
Bryn Terfel's son, Tomos

Since his stage debut with Welsh National Opera in 1990, singing Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, he quickly went on to build up his operatic repertoire

He has appeared in all the major opera houses of the world, with music as diverse as Mozart and Wagner, Puccini and Stravinsky, Verdi and Britten.

Next February, he will make his opera debut at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, when he returns in the WNO's performance of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman.

Terfel was one of the people instrumental in getting the WMC off the ground and earlier this month sang for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance stage there.

But this will be his operatic debut at the year-old building and he describes how much he is looking forward to the performance.

Bryn Terfel at a concert marking the 50th anniversary of the reopening of Vienna's State Opera
Terfel says he wants to concentrate on other projects for a time

He said: "I'm looking forward immensely to sing at the Millennium Centre because this building is one of the most important things to reach this nation, from the point of being home to the Welsh National Opera and amazing performances."

During the programme, friends and colleagues pay tribute to the star whose singing prowess first emerged during the BBC Singer of the World competition in 1989.

They include old school friend Rhys Meirion who has recorded a CD of duets with the star.

Their friendship goes back to their schooldays when it was across a football pitch rather than a stage that they faced each other.

"Playing against him was a bit of a challenge," Meirion tells the programme.


"Because he was a lot bigger (than us) - he was a centre forward and could jump higher than anybody to score..."

Meirion pays tribute to Terfel for also managing to keep his feet firmly on the ground.

He said: "To think of the success he's experiencing and where he has reached, he is still the same Bryn now as he was when he left for the Guild Hall twenty years ago, but more importantly, he's a hell of a bloke."

But Terfel, who now wants to spend more time with his family at home in Bontnewydd near Caernarfon, admits that son Tomos once wrote a much more concise and simple description of his father.

"Dad sings in lots of different places in the world," it read.

Dei Tomos featuring Bryn Terfel is broadcast at 2030 GMT on Radio Cymru and the interview can also be heard online at

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