So­prano helps to cel­e­brate New Year in Vi­en­nese style

Caernarfon Herald - - YOUR GUIDE -

ONE of Bri­tain’s most ex­cit­ing young so­pra­nos is re­turn­ing to North Wales to head up a spec­tac­u­lar cel­e­bra­tion with the NEW Sin­fo­nia or­ches­tra.

It fea­tures two back-to-back Vi­en­nese-themed con­certs, at St As­aph Cathe­dral on Jan­uary 5 and at St Giles’ Church in Wrex­ham the day after.

The re­turn of Welsh Na­tional Opera soloist Katy Thom­son marks a dou­ble coup for NEW Sin­fo­nia, which she de­scribed as mu­si­cally ‘fear­less’.

As well as se­cur­ing Katy’s star billing, for the first time in 2018 NEW Sin­fo­nia is stag­ing two New Year con­certs rather than one.

Also look­ing for­ward en­ter­tain­ing the au­di­ences is harpist Bethan Grif­fiths from Treud­dyn, Flintshire, who is study­ing for a mas­ters at the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic after win­ning a two-year fund­ing schol­ar­ship from the Ashley Fam­ily Foun­da­tion.

Or­ches­tra artis­tic di­rec­tor, con­duc­tor and co-founder Robert Guy said: “We’re hugely ex­cited. This is a tremen­dous step for­ward.

“It has be­come an an­nual tra­di­tion for us to put on a Vi­en­nese Gala con­cert at St Giles’ Church, Wrex­ham, to re­ally ring in each new year but it has soared in pop­u­lar­ity to the ex­tent that last Jan­uary we strug­gled to fit ev­ery­one in.”

All 400 tick­ets sold out and peo­ple were still queu­ing at the doors, so for the first time in 2018 there will be two con­certs, both fea­tur­ing the same pro­gramme.

Robert ad­vised peo­ple to book early whichever venue they choose to go to.

They will be on Jan­uary 5 at 7.30pm at St As­aph Cathe­dral, fol­lowed by Jan­uary 6 at 3pm at St Giles, Wrex­ham.

Scot­tish-born soloist Katy Thom­son made her de­but with NEW Sin­fo­nia at Septem­ber’s North Wales In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Festival where she was one of a quar­tet of soloists from Welsh Na­tional Opera per­form­ing the Welsh Pre­miere of Oliver Tar­ney’s Mag­ni­fi­cat.

She is thrilled to be re­turn­ing for the Vi­en­nese gala and said: “I can’t wait to per­form with them again and es­pe­cially at such a high en­ergy event as their tra­di­tional New Year con­cert.

“The new year con­cert should be a ball - in ev­ery sense. We’ll be do­ing lots of fun Vi­en­nese waltz mu­sic and polkas, and I’ll be singing a num­ber of well known arias.

“The pro­gramme will in­clude mu­sic from The Mar­riage of Fi­garo and Ivor Novello.”

Katy, 26, is study­ing for a mas­ters in Vo­cal Per­for­mance at the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic, Lon­don, and is widely hailed as one of the coun­try’s most promis­ing young so­pra­nos.

Harpist Bethan Grif­fiths is one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of NEW Sin­fo­nia, set up in 2011. Bethan, who teaches harp and pi­ano, is study­ing for a mas­ters in per­for­mance and part of the course is to per­form with full or­ches­tras, so the con­cert is a key part of her stud­ies as well as a joyous event.

Tick­ets (£15 adults; £12 Con­ces­sions; £3 Stu­dents and Un­der 18s) for both Vi­en­nese Gala Con­certs are avail­able from Wrex­ham Tourist In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre, Cathe­dral Frames, St As­aph or on­line at https:// news­in­fo­

● Scot­tish-born WNO so­prano Katy Thom­son will per­form at NEW Sin­fo­nia’s New Year con­certs at Wrex­ham and St As­aph

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