Acclaimed North Wales opera singer Ann Atkinson to stage 'landmark birthday' concert

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Staff Reporter

A PROMINENT figure in North Wales music is celebrating a “landmark birthday” by staging a glittering concert.

The special evening on Friday, November 3 has been arranged by Ann Atkinson, the acclaimed opera singer, music teacher and former director of the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir.

She is organising the event to raise funds for the North Wales International Music Festival, of which she is artistic director.

Ann said: “This year’s festival, which ran throughout September, was another great success with some wonderful concerts and great audiences.

“We’re already planning next year’s event and I’ve organised the concert at St Asaph Cathedral, which is also the home of the festival, as a key fundraiser for 2018.

“It’s also to mark a landmark birthday of mine – although I’m not saying exactly which one!”

According to Ann, the two-hour musical extravaganza which starts at 7.30pm, will feature an array of talent which includes the two male voice choirs of which she is musical director and six of her most promising music pupils who are tipped for the top of their professions.

Also appearing will be Ann, a celebrated mezzo soprano, and her husband Kevin Sharp, an accomplished baritone.

“I’ve been associated with the Bro Glyndwr choir since the late 1980s and their musical director for more than 20 years and have had the same role with the Trelawnyd choir for the past three years, so they were both a must for the concert programme On the evening they’ll be singing as a massed choir which means the audience will get the fantastic power of more than 100 male voices.”

She added: “I’ll be singing as will my husband Kevin Sharp whom I first met when we both studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

“He was my leading man in the first full opera I performed in, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. We were married 21 years ago and he’s still my leading man. Also performing will be some of my most promising students from the past few years who are all doing exceedingly well.

“There’s Tesni Jones from St Asaph and Lisa Dafydd from Ruthin, the young sopranos whom I taught at the William Mathias Music Centre in Denbigh. Also from the William Mathias Centre is Erin Swyn Williams, a soprano from Llanefydd near Denbigh, and my former pupil Julian Gonzalez, a young pianist from Carrog and two current pupils, tenor Elis Jones and Ceri Wyn Hughes, a soprano from Ruthin.”

Ann, who lives in Corwen, added: “The concert programme will consist of some favourite operatic aria and duets and some lighter material, such as the music of Cole Porter, and also traditional Welsh songs. I can promise it will be a fantastic evening of musical favourites performed by some extremely talented people.

“At this stage it’s looking like it could be a one-off event but if it goes down well we might think of doing it again next year as a fundraiser for the festival.”

Tickets for the St Asaph Cathedral concert, priced £12.50, are available from the Cathedral Frames shop at 28 High Street, St Asaph, LL17 ORD, on 01745 582929, through the festival office on 01745 584508, or from members of the Bro Glyndwr and Trelawnyd Male Voice Choirs.

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