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BBC Wales's Penny Roberts
"With his backing the festival is able to attract impressive names"
 real 56k

Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Opera star's festival under way
Faenol Estate near Bangor
The estate forms a natural amphitheatre
Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel has opened the Faenol Festival - his own three-day showpiece featuring some of the biggest names in music.

Despite the unpredictable Bank Holiday weather, thousands of people turned up to enjoy some of opera's classic arias, in what the organisers hope will develop into a permanent fixture in the Welsh music calendar.

Terfel is more used to performing in front of capacity audiences at the world's leading opera houses.

But the singer was equally at home entertaining crowds in the grounds of the picturesque Faenol estate near Bangor.

Ritual

The impressive country estate is just a few miles away from his home near Caernarfon.

There is a feel of Glyndeborne about the festival, with champagne and picnics part of the pre-concert ritual

And when Bryn Terfel opened Friday's proceedings with Bizet's Carmen even the steady rainfall didn't seem to matter.

With his backing the festival is able to attract impressive names who might not otherwise have performed in North Wales.

On Saturday Welsh language rock bands take the stage, and on Sunday opera meets musicals as Bryn Terfel performs with West End stars including fellow Welshman Michael Ball.

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See also:

25 Aug 00 | Wales
Opera star founds festival
19 May 00 | Wales
Terfel's Welsh music fest
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