OPERA superstar Bryn Terfel and jazz sensation Caro Emerald have been unveiled as two of the headline acts for next year’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.
Terfel will be playing the lead in a special production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, featuring an all-Welsh cast.
Organisers also revealed there will be a world premiere of a new work by composer Karl Jenkins and an appearance by chart-topping singing brothers, Richard and Adam Johnson, from Holywell.
The lavish production of Sweeney Todd on Monday, July 7, will be a curtain raiser for the 2014 festival which gets under way the following day.
Tickets will go on sale to season ticket holders immediately and will be on sale online from December 20, when another big announcement is expected.
Next March Terfel will star in another version of the show with the New York Philharmonic orchestra at the Big Apple’s Lincoln Center, where he will share the bill with Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson.
Before then the bass baritone from Pant Glas, Gwynedd, will perform at the Royal Variety Performance from London Palladium.
This is being shown on ITV on December 9 and, coincidentally, also stars Caro Emerald
On the Tuesday night at the Eisteddfod there will be a galaxy of international talent at the Carnival of Nations concert.
It will showcase spectacular circus acts from across the globe, including Cirque du Soleil’s Bruce Bilodeau, acrobats from the Chinese State Circus Acrobats and Spelbound, 2010 winners of Britain's Got Talent.
The concert will include the official opening ceremony of the festival and the Procession of Nations into the pavilion.
The following night will see the return of Karl Jenkins, the highest selling classical composer alive today, with the world premiere of his latest masterpiece, Adiemus Colores.
He will conduct his Latin American themed work with American tenor Noah Stewart, Venezuelan trumpeter Pacho Flores and Latvian accordion player Ksenija Sidorova to the accompaniment of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod Orchestra.
Caro Emerald will be making her Llangollen debut on the Thursday evening.
Earlier this year her second studio album, The Shocking Miss Emerald, went to number one in the UK album chart.
The Friday night concert, Spirit of Unity, will feature the Cape Town Opera, Africa’s premiere opera company, famed for their “vibrant vocalism and high-octane stage performances”.
Appearing with them will be the Welsh representative in Cardiff Singer of the World, Gary Griffiths; the Wales Millennium Centre Only Kidz Aloud Chorus, under the baton of conductor Tim Rhys Evans; and British Sinfonietta, one of the UK’s leading independent professional orchestras.
The Choir of the World competition on the Saturday night is the blue riband event of the week-long festival and remains one of the foremost choral competitions in the international choral calendar, according to Eisteddfod musical director Eilir Owen Griffiths.
The Pavarotti Trophy and a cash prize of £3,500 are awarded to the overall winner from the mixed, female, male, youth choir and new open category competitions.
There will also be a competition to find the dance champions of 2014 and to top the evening off Richard and Adam, who shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent, will appear as special guests.
It will be the first time Terfel has performed on the International Eisteddfod stage since he opened the 2006 festival and that was his first appearance at Llangollen in a decade.
He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled I’m able to appear at the 2014 International Eisteddfod.
“I’m a proud Welshman and the International Eisteddfod is unique.
“The atmosphere, the colour, the audience, even the flowers, it really is a very, very special event.”
Musical director Eilir Owen Griffiths said: “I am really excited about the line-up for next year, which I am sure will prove a big hit with our audiences.
“We are currently finalising the arrangements for our final Sunday night concert and we will be in a position to reveal our smash hit headline act very soon.”
To book tickets and for more details on the 2014 festival go to the website at www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk.