Chairman’s Message 2014
Dear Festival goers
Welcome to Tenby Arts Festival 2014, opening on 20th September and finishing on the 27th this will be the twenty-third festival.
This message is to give you a taste of things to come during the week. Every year there are highlights in the calendar that should be incorporated into our programme. The start of the First World War may not in itself be an artistic event but its historical place, human horror and repercussions cannot be left un-noted. To this end Friday evening has a performance of “Heroes without a Parachute” which is a tribute to the early pioneers of the flying corps in World War One.
Another anniversary which needs very little introduction is that of Dylan Thomas. He is known to everyone in Wales and far beyond. The last Saturday afternoon and evening is devoted to readings of his poetry followed by a showing of the film “Under Milkwood” with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The committee will be producing refreshments of a Welsh variety to keep you going into the evening to enjoy the Jazz band of Stan Tracy in the De Valence Pavilion.
The first weekend, following on from the success of “Cantemus!” under the baton of Grant Llewellyn last September, there will be a further choral work by a scratch choir group, conducted this year by Will Dawes, a very talented young musician who has previously performed in a Tenby Arts Festival with his group the “Edinburgh Camarata”. On the Sunday he will be giving a concert with his newly formed group called “Ensemble 45” which sings early English music.
The festival would never be complete without Male choirs. Tenby choir has performed in every festival since it started in 1992 and is in St Marys Church on the Thursday. This year there is a visit from the male choir of Sydney who are performing on Monday.
The afternoon talks have always proved very popular and the enticement of a home-made tea made by the committee is an added incentive.
Jo Hammond is again giving one of her erudite talks, this year the subject is one of Rodin’s lovers who was also a talented sculptress. We have a talk on their life in the opera by Maureen Guy and John Mitchelson with recorded extracts of their performances. We have the history of swimming in contrast to popular local artist Graham Hadlow and his workshop on how to paint. As the week draws to a close there will be sea shanties in Church House with afternoon tea.
The middle of the week has a return to the festival of Bogdan Vacarescu who first performed as a young teenager in 1997. He went on to study the violin at the Royal College of music and has since made his career playing classical music as well as the gypsy music of Eastern Europe. He came to the festival three years ago with his band “Paprika”, to great acclaim. This year his programme will be a classical one in St Mary’s Church.
One man shows are always popular and this year we have Richard Parry, who has local connections in that his mother lives in Haverfordwest. He will perform an “Act of Piracy” in verse and song.
Another regular feature of the festival is a recital given by the Gregynog Young Musician of the Year. These young musicians are talented beyond their years so in view of the very high standard of the winner in the 2013 Gregynog competition it has been decided to invite the winner and two runners-up to take part in the lunch time concert on the last Saturday.
There are still exciting ideas in the pipeline which will be posted on the web site as soon as they are confirmed. So watch this space!
Rosemary Rhys Davies