Saint's Day Lives up to Expectations
It was billed as a fantastic finale to the St David’s Day week of celebrations in Swansea. Judging by the response from the capacity audience at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall, the March 1 concert featuring the Morriston Orpheus Choir, the Chamber Orchestra of Wales, both under the baton of Alwyn Humphreys, and Rhydian Roberts, certainly lived up to expectations.
The Choir’s contribution naturally reflected St David’s Day from the opening bars of Llanfair through to the final strains of Rachie, which brought the audience to their feet. The orchestra opened with Suo Gan ( with an unexpected interruption from Rhydian – you needed to be there !!) and Rhydian also captured the festival atmosphere including Myfanwy and Pan Fyddo'r Nos yn Hir in his solo selections which ended with “My Boy Bill” from Carousel and a standing ovation.
To many the highlights were the three joint items. First there was “Stars” from Les Miserables with the Choir and Orchestra joining Rhydian. Later in the first half, the Choir’s Musical Director, Joy Amman Davies, took to the piano to accompany Rhydian and Choir performing “Bui Doi” from Miss Saigon.
This was Joy’s only contribution on the actual night after the hard work of preparing the Choir. She no doubt enjoyed the opportunity to hand over the reins (just for the evening !) to Alwyn and listen to the Choir from the auditorium. Although we understand that she struggled to find a seat in the packed hall !
The finale again saw the Choir, Orchestra and Rhydian in perfect harmony with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel and the third standing ovation of the evening.
Few would argue that this indeed was a "fantastic finale" to the St David's week celebrations but if there were any lingering doubts, they were quickly blown away when 7 year old Ellie McGuire, from Neath, took to the stage in Welsh costume and wowed the audience with the Welsh lullaby Si Hei Lwli Mabi.
Just perfect !
The majority of photographs taken by www.photographsof.com