Night of in­ter­na­tional and home­grown stars in op­er­atic dou­ble bill

Caernarfon Herald - - YOUR GUIDE -

ONE of the world’s finest young opera singers will be per­form­ing along­side an in­ter­na­tional cast on her home ground in Wrex­ham.

So­prano Rachel Marsh will star in two one-act op­eras at St Giles’ Church on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 22, in a spec­tac­u­lar show­case for pupils of the North Wales Opera Stu­dio.

She will take the lead role in Puc­cini’s Suor An­gel­ica dur­ing an evening spon­sored by the Pen­dine Park care or­gan­i­sa­tion via their Pen­dine Arts and Com­mu­nity Trust (PACT).

The sec­ond opera on the night is Pi­etro Mascagni’s Caval­le­ria Rus­ti­cana, with so­prano Zena O’May, of Queens­ferry, in the lead role of the peas­ant girl, San­tuzza.

Rachel and Zena are both pupils of the North Wales Stu­dio which is run by Anne Wil­liams-King, from Peny­cae, who is a top so­prano in her own right hav­ing per­formed at opera houses around Europe, Aus­tralia, Ja­pan, the USA and across South Amer­ica.

Anne said: “It’s an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for two of my best stu­dents. They will per­form­ing along­side so­prano Mil­li­cent Set­shedi, who is com­ing over to Wales from South Africa specif­i­cally for the pro­duc­tion, as well as tenor Adam Mar­gulies from Berlin and Nor­we­gian mezzo so­prano Maria Ejderos Svei­n­ungsen and the Can­to­rion Rhos mixed choir.

“It’s go­ing to be a truly in­ter­na­tional pro­duc­tion.

“Suor An­gel­ica is a re­ally tragic tale of a young woman who is forced to live in a con­vent by her fam­ily af­ter hav­ing an il­le­git­i­mate child.

“She spends years wait­ing to hear news of her child only to find out he died of a fever.

“She con­cocts a poi­son po­tion to kill her­self and, af­ter tak­ing it, re­mem­bers sui­cide is a sin so she won’t go to heaven to be with her child.

“How­ever, she has a vi­sion of the Vir­gin Mary with her child and re­alises her sin is for­given.”

She added: “Caval­le­ria Rus­ti­cana is a tale of love, re­jec­tion and re­venge set in Si­cily and is a won­der­ful one-act opera. It will give Zena O’May a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to show just what she can do. I’m look­ing for­ward to what will be a won­der­ful evening of mu­sic fea­tur­ing some of my most tal­ented stu­dents”

Rachel, 26, said: “It’s been an ex­cit­ing year. This will be my first lead role and I’m very ex­cited. Sis­ter An­gel­ica is a won­der­ful and in­cred­i­ble role in what is a very touch­ing and tragic story. I’m also look­ing for­ward to meet­ing and singing with some in­cred­i­ble in­ter­na­tional tal­ent.”

Zena O’May, 55, said “I sang in the cho­rus of the English Na­tional Opera as a mezzo so­prano. How­ever, my voice has changed a lit­tle and I’m busy learn­ing the so­prano reper­toire un­der Anne’s ex­pert guid­ance.”

She added: “I’m so look­ing for­ward to the event at St Giles Church, it’s go­ing to be amaz­ing, es­pe­cially as there is a real in­ter­na­tional cast. “

Zena has just per­formed El­gar’s Sea Pic­tures at St James, Pic­cadilly , along­side my ac­com­pa­nist, Marco Bel­luzzi who will also be play­ing at the St Giles con­cert.”

● Rachel Marsh from Wrex­ham will star in a touch­ing one-act opera at St Giles church Wrex­ham on De­cem­ber 22

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