Chairman’s Message 2018

Dear Festival Goers,

Welcome to the 27th Tenby Arts Festival 2017, 23rd – 30th September.

We have a sparkling festival for you this year with a dazzling array of music, drama, art and talks.

The festival will open with a flourish to music provided by a Brass Ensemble followed by a Samba Band both of which you can enjoy while chatting and drinking coffee in and around Church House. 

Our programme includes some old favourites such as the Tenby Male Choir, Pint Sized Plays and Graham Hadlow’s Watercolour Workshop. Graham will also be giving us one of his own beautiful paintings to raffle. Another festival perennial is our Rising Stars Concert which features the winners of the Gregynog Young Musician of the Year. These young musicians are talented beyond their years; playing with maturity and virtuosity. This year Chloë Jones, an extremely talented flautist, gives a solo concert after having previously played as part of the Rising Stars Concert. “Cantemus!” also returns with a scratch choir singing a selection of favourite choral pieces. This will be followed immediately by the Trinity Singers, a group of up and coming young singers, post-graduate music students from Trinity College University of Wales, who will give a superb concert of arias, duets and choruses from favourite operas. Last year they gave an absolutely stellar performance and are back by popular demand.

Viv McLean will perform a varied programme that will include pieces by Beethoven, Chopin and Gershwin.

The afternoon talks have always proved very popular, Jo Hammond is turning her attention this year to the Suffragettes to honour the centenary of women first getting the vote. George Hancock will present a talk on wine which will include tastings; so book early for that one; it will probably sell out very quickly.  There will be other talks too;  John Blake will explain the history and importance of nautical charts, David Saunders will talk about the doomed Franklin expedition to find the North West Passage and the ship “Erebus” built in Pembroke Dock and lost in the ice. Dr Jacqueline Jeynes will talk about the Davies sisters and their wonderful collection of impressionist paintings. 

The two world wars are not forgotten either. To mark the centenary of the end of World War 1 we have an evening of songs from that era and a talk by Tony Curtis about his family’s involvement in the conflict. To commemorate the part played by the air force in war, we have a play by Derek Webb “Heroes without a Parachute.” And Greg Lewis will take us from “Wales to Nagasaki” in a talk he will give.

Alison Neil is back with one of her one-woman plays which are always so well written and so enjoyable. This one is about the author E. Nesbit who wrote The Railway Children and The Borrowers among others. She led a very eccentric lifestyle shocking the bourgeoisie of her day. 

Another fascinating event is the performance and lunch at Penally Abbey. Laure Meloy, an international soprano presents her one-women show of speech and song illustrating the life and poetry of poet Elizabeth Bishop. 

This year we have a superb grand finale on the last Saturday of festival week. Swansea City Opera is returning with their production “A Viennese Whirl”. Compered by the inimitable and entertaining Brendan Wheatley the concert is a feast of romantic arias from operas and operettas. Think Die Fledermaus and Der Rosenkavalier. 

There are many free events too, such as Poetry Please at Caffè Vista, Japanese Calligraphy for children in the Library Hall, our ever-poplar sandcastle competition and art exhibitions.

We look forward to seeing you there.    

Rosemary Rhys Davies,

Chairman, Tenby Arts Festival