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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 September, 2003, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Arts centre reveals stellar line-up
Bryn Terfel
Bryn Terfel will be creative director for the opening weekend
Opera star Bryn Terfel will lead a glittering line-up of stars at the opening of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Stars including Charlotte Church, Matthew Rhys and Ruthie Henshall will appear to lauch the venue, which will become a home for Welsh arts.

World-famous bass baritone Terfel scaled Snowdon, in north Wales, to reveal his plans to sing at the 104m arts centre's opening weekend.

Building work at the centre is on schedule - it is currently being clad in Welsh slate - and it is due to open its doors in 26 November 2004.

Chief executive Judith Isherwood said the opening weekend will "have something to inspire and delight just about anyone".

"I think the challenge with these kinds of facilities is that for something that is as beautiful as this is on the outside, we have got to make sure that what is going on inside is as good, if not better," she said.

Jose Carreras
Jose Carreras recently performed at the Faenol festival

Other stars who will appear at the cultural extravaganza include Max Boyce, Elaine Paige, Griff Rhys Jones, Matthew Rhys and Aled Jones.

The Welsh National Opera (WNO) and the National Orchestra of Wales, who will move into the centre, will also perform, alongside guests including the Royal Ballet.

Anthony Freud, from the WNO, said the group was already excited about moving into its new home.

"We will begin to make art in that building and celebrate the fact we have now one of the great cultural edifices of the world," he said.

Roy Campbell Moore, from Diversions Dance, added it was great to see so many stars returning for the concert.

Charlotte Church
Charlotte Church has been revealed in the line-up

"There are famous people from Wales working all over the world in all of the art forms and I am really delighted some are going to come back here to share that with this building," he said.

Other venues across Wales and the world will also be showing the concert on giant screens.

The arts centre will hold international musicals, operas, ballet and dance.

Bryn Terfel laid the project's slate foundation stone in January.

"I can't wait to come here to perform and I will be here on the opening night - in fact I will probably run onto the stage," said Terfel at the foundation ceremony.

The inscribed slate block was transported from its quarry of origin in Bethesda, Gwynedd, to Cardiff Bay to symbolise the unity of Wales in the project.

The centre is a major part of the redevelopment of Cardiff Bay which will also include the 41m new building for the Welsh assembly.

Work also got under way on Thursday on a 700m sports village on an 80 acre site designed to complete the "arc of entertainment" first envisaged by Cardiff Council a decade ago.

In pictures: Wales Millennium Centre
04 Sep 03 |  Photo Gallery
Slate sees Wales whole
21 Jan 03 |  Wales
Terfel lays foundation stone
21 Jan 03 |  Wales
Strategy to boost arts
07 Feb 02 |  Wales

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