The Metropolitan Opera‘s pay-per-view concerts – Met Stars Live in Concert – feature some of opera’s most illustrious artists, each filmed in an impressive location from around the world. The star of this week’s recital is Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, performing live in Brecon Cathedral in his native Wales.
Sir Bryn will be joined by some special musical guests – harpist Hannah Stone, pianist Jeff Howard, the Welsh traditional folk group Calan, and two rising young Welsh singers, soprano Natalya Romaniw and tenor Trystan Llyr Griffiths – in a programme of festive music. Included in the recital are some firm favourites, such as Gruber’s Silent Night, Schubert’s Ave Maria, Jester Hairston’s Mary’s Boy Child, the exquisite O Holy Night by Adolphe Adam and the rousing O Come All Ye Faithful by John Francis Wade. There are also traditional Welsh songs like New Year’s Eve in Caernarfon and Ar Hyd y Nos.
A frequent guest at opera houses around the world, Sir Bryn has recently appeared in Sweeney Todd for Zürich Opera, Boris Godunov for Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Scarpia in Tosca at the Royal Opera House and Wiener Staatsoper, and as Holländer in Der fliegende Holländer for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Münich. Last autumn he was highly praised for his role debut in the title role of Don Pasquale at the Royal Opera House, and made his house debut at ABAO Bilbao Opera in the role of Holländer earlier this year.
Highlights of Bryn Terfel’s career include his appearances at the opening ceremony of the Wales Millennium Centre, Last Night of the Proms for the BBC, a Royal Variety Show and a Gala Concert with Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, New York. He has given recitals around the world, and for nine years, he hosted his own festival in Faenol, North Wales. He is a Grammy, Classical Brit and Gramophone Award winner, having recorded the operas of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, as well as more than fifteen solo discs including Lieder, American musical theatre, Welsh songs and sacred repertory.
Bryn was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to Opera in 2003, was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2006 and received a knighthood for his services to music in 2017. He was the last recipient of the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation and in 2015 he was awarded The Freedom of the City of London.
Brecon Cathedral was founded in 1093 as the Priory of St John the Evangelist by the Benedictine monks of Battle in Sussex. The original church had been given to the monks by Bernard Newmarch who established the nearby Brecon Castle following the Norman conquest of Wales. In 1537, the priory became the parish church of Brecon, remaining as such until 1923, when it became the Cathedral for the newly created Diocese of Swansea and Brecon. During its period as a parish church, the structure was restored under the 19th century English Gothic revival architect Sir George Gilbert Scot.
The Metropolitan Opera streams Bryn Terfel Live in Concert on Saturday, December 12th at 1.00 pm ET (6.00 pm GMT and 7.00 pm CET). For tickets and further information, visit the Metropolitan Opera website.
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