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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 11:43 GMT
Terfel: Modest about success
bY Elin Angharad
BBC News Online

Bryn Terfel's latest album
'Bryn' has gone platinum selling over 300,000 copies in a month

His latest CD is number six in the UK album chart ahead of the likes of Sugababes, Rod Stewart and Justin Timberlake.

Bryn Terfel. A Welshman who's remained extremely proud of his roots, despite travelling the world to perform in the most prestigious of opera houses.

The boy from Pant Glas in north Wales has achieved world-wide fame, so not surprising I was a little nervous about chatting about the success of his new album.

But, I had nothing to fear when I called Bryn Terfel.

He was on his way to Swansea to sign his new album - called simply Bryn - which has gone platinum this week, selling over 300,000 copies in less than a month since it's release.

He got news of its success just as he was about to go on the field at the Millennium Stadium to sing the National Anthem before the crucial Euro 2004 play-off between Wales and Russia on Wednesday.

I was born in the 1960's and listened to Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Queen and ELO. It wasn't until I went to college that classical music came to be such a part of my life
Bryn Terfel
For Bryn it was a privilege. And they don't get much better for a Welshman to be offered the chance to perform the anthem in Cardiff.

But putting the disappointment of the match aside (Wales lost 0-1), Bryn, a keen Man Utd fan, is now concentrating on the success of his album.

"Very happy" that it is currently number six in the UK pop album chart, he says he is prouder that he's also had his first number one in the Classic FM chart.

"There has been a lot of thought behind the album which I've worked on for about 18 months," he said.

"But I never dreamt I would be in pop charts!"

But why has this album in particular, which is not his first, had such a success?

Bryn, who was brought up on a farm, says it is probably all down to the publicity of two television programmes broadcast over the past month.


He appeared on Alan Yentob's programme, Imagine, and also Songs of Praise.

"With out any doubt the success of the album is down to these two programmes as well as the fact that people are shopping for Christmas presents."

Modest and charming as he is, he said that he will be slipping down the chart now rather than staying put or going up.

"It is important that the CD is out, as I don't record that much but what is more important to me is the quality of the album.
Bryn Terfel
Terfel: Such a success

"Much thought is behind the choices of songs and if I don't choose a classical song in particular then it's important for me that we have new musical arrangements."

The new album also futures Welsh harpist Catrin Finch, Andrea Bocelli and jazz guitarist Martin Taylor.

"Music played a big part as I grew up but it was more Welsh songs and hymns rather than classical.

"I was born in the 1960's and listened to Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Queen and ELO - years before your time I imagine!

"It wasn't until I went to college that classical music came to be such a part of my life.

"Music is very important and I think that parents has a responsibility to give children a chance to listen and hear such a wide choice."

His three sons, aged nine, five and two have started listening to Elvis Presley.

"As an artist also it's important to listen to a wide range of music so you can develop yourself, your opinion and knowledge."

On Friday, at the end of a long and busy week, Bryn, will be performing at Cyfarthfa Castle, Merthyr Tydfil in aid of BBC Children in Need appeal.

Terfel album heads for Top 10
31 Oct 03  |  Wales
Brits aim for classical credibility
22 May 03  |  Entertainment
Terfel stars at new opera home
28 Sep 03  |  Wales


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