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BBC Wales' Colette Hume
"From La Scala to the New York Met, the baritone has come home"
 real 28k

Friday, 25 August, 2000, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Opera star founds festival
Faenol Estate near Bangor
The estate forms a natural amphitheatre
One of Wales best-known opera stars, Bryn Terfel, is launching a music festival in north Wales - an event which he hopes will become an annual fixture.

After years of performing for audiences around the world at venues from Glyndebourne to the New York Met, the acclaimed bass baritone is staging his own festival in the grounds of a picturesque country estate near his hometown.

The Bank Holiday event, on the Faenol estate near Bangor, is being billed as the biggest event of its kind ever staged in the area.

And Terfel, who grew up at nearby Pantglas, has ambitions for the festival to become an annual event.

Tom Jones
Tom Jones: On stage next year?

Next year he said he hoped to attract fellow Welsh superstar Tom Jones to perform there.

The organisers are hoping the event will attract 30,000 visitors over the weekend.

So far more than 14,000 tickets have been sold.

As well as operatic arias from Terfel himself, there will be a mixture of pop music and show tunes .

Bryn Terfel at Glynebourne
Terfel is more used to performing at Glynebourne

Music from local Welsh language bands will also be showcased.

Among the other artists joining him in the entertainment will be two Welsh singers from London's West End Michael Ball and Sian Cothi.

The festival - which will be televised as far afield as Japan, Australia and the US - opens on Friday wilth an opera gala night.

Terfel will perform along with Denyce Graves - both of whom will be appearing in the same production at New York's Metropolitan opera house next month.

Ticket prices have been kept to a minimum, but Terfel has warned that the chances of a second Faenol festival next year depend on public support.

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19 May 00 | Wales
Terfel's Welsh music fest
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