Some highlights from the Festival of 2019


Trinity College Singers                Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 10.05.58

Back by popular demand for a third year – A group of up and coming young singers, post graduate music students from University of Wales Trinity St David’s gave a superb concert of arias, duets and choruses from favourite operas: music by composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Offenbach. They are a trio of the most wonderful voices with an extremely accomplished pianist. They presented the music with a great sense of fun and many witticisms. Tenor                  Freddie Jones Soprano             Chloë Morgan Bass-Baritone    Emyr Wyn Jones Pianist                Llyr Simon      

 Rising Stars Concert

This was a concert absolutely not to be missed ! Each year the festival offers the opportunity to hear some of the UK’s most prodigiously talented young musicians. It was at this concert that Sheku Kanneh-Mason was first heard in Tenby – that was in 2014, two years later he won the BBC Young Musician 2016 competition. Sheku’s future as the most outstanding cellist of his generation is now assured especially after his appearance at the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle and his wonderful playing at the Last Night of the Proms. The Festival is pleased to welcome once again the winners of the International competition held at Gregynog every year. This year the winners were Ellis Thomas, Piano & Will Duerden, Double Bass    


Adelina Patti – In Words and Music          

Centenary Talk by

Josephine Hammond

A well known speaker to Tenby Arts Festival audiences, Josephine Hammond will talk about Adelina Patti  in a celebration of her centenary. Josephine has written a book “Adelina Patti, Queen of Song” telling the life story of the beautiful soprano who in her day was the most famous singer of all. She is also the highest paid singer ever. Her life was one of danger, excitement and scandal. Josephine will reveal all. You will also be able to enjoy arias from some of her most popular rôles.   Church House 5pm – 6pm Tickets £8.00        

Terrific Opening Night

Absolute Adèle and Ultimate Robbie  

‘The king of pop meets the queen of the ballad in this dream double tribute concert, Dougie as Robbie Williams and Kathryn as Adèle have a combined 30 years entertaining all over Europe and recreate the sound and atmosphere most associated with two of the biggest British artists in history!
The shows starts with a beautiful, dark trip through Adèles big ballads including Hometown Glory, Hello and Make You Feel My love and ends with a bang with Rumour Has It, Rolling in the Deep and Set Fire to Rain with the Huge Bond song Skyfall in the middle. The look, the sound and the hits, it’s the perfect foil for what is to come next…
The second half is Robbie time, all the biggest hits of the last 20 years including Rock DJ, Let Me Entertain You and Candy as well as huge sing along classics Feel, She’s the One and of course, the highlight of the night… Angels! A show packed with energy, charisma and swagger, our Robbie will have you out of your seats and singing till you have no voice left! plus a few songs from a certain boyband Robbie was once a part of!
with an amazing live band to accompany two of the best tribute acts in the business, this promises to be one incredible show! We’ve also been promised one or two very special duets along the way..’


CHOW!  Jazz Combo                                                                                              

  CHOW!  is a jazz combo – keyboards, sax, bass, drums –  based in Oxford. Keyboard player, Siriol Jenkins, is a local musician who played at last year’s festival.  This year she is playing with three other keen jazz musicians. The group is versatile and wide ranging in its music.  There are standards by such jazz giants as Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and John Coltrane. These are combined with original material drawing inspiration from groundbreaking contemporary jazzers but always reworked and reimagined through the interplay of the four instrumental voices.  They are Felix Jackson –  sax Seriol Jenkins – keyboard Hani Elias –bass Edmund Adonis – drums Their music is truly fresh, original and exciting.  Don’t miss it. The festival is grateful to Mr Nick West for his donation towards this concert


Miracle Brew    

PETE BROWN Pete Brown is an award winning British author, journalist, broadcaster and consultant specialising in food and drink. He has been called the “beer drinker’s Bill Bryson”. Throughout the nine books he has written, his broad fresh approach takes in social history, cultural commentary, travel writing, personal discovery and natural history. His talks are always delivered with the warmth and wit you’d expect during a great night down at the pub. He writes for newspapers and magazines around the world and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme. He was named British Beer Writer of the Year in 2009, 2012 and 2016, has won three Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards, and has been shortlisted twice for the Andre Simon Awards. Pete is Chair of the British Guild of Beer Writers. PETE  takes you on a globetrotting adventure through the nature of beer – the third most popular drink in the world – after tea and coffee.                                           


Living in the Light

Written and performed by Alison Neil

Directed by David Collison

Alison Neil returns to tread the boards in Tenby in another of her one woman plays.

This one is about Hildegard of Bingen a brilliant early example of women’s abilities and achievements. Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 17 September 1179), was a German Benedictine Abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136; she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play. She wrote theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias as seen here on the right. She is also noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota. Although the history of her formal consideration is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by branches of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church.
   Living in the Light Poster2

Hildegard of Bingen has been called the “Leonardo da Vinci of the 12th Century”.  Living in turbulent and dangerous times, she was a musician, healer, artist, visionary, theologian, biographer, playwright and poet.

Beginning as a hermit in a cell within a monastery, she rose to an unheard-of position for a woman – preaching in cathedrals, giving advice to an Emperor and criticizing the Pope.

Her writing about sex was extraordinarily frank and remarkably detailed – especially as she was a nun!

Her illustrations are now recognized as major works of art; her writing on medicine is now valued by alternative practitioners, and her music topped the charts of Classic FM – 850 years after it was written.

Hildegard’s entertaining and moving story of friendship, love, and struggle against authority is brought to life in this enthralling production.


The Ancient Silk Road – East meets West

A talk by Susie Brooks

For more than two millenia merchants have travelled both west and east to trade their wares with those from far away lands, crossing some of the most challenging terrain in the world. Cultural exchanges inevitably followed as the trade routes expanded. Travel the route with Susie Brooks as she presents a colourful picture of life in those days drawn from her studies as a guide/lecturer in the National Museum of Singapore.



Alexander Ullman                            Alexander_Ullman_.jpg.220x220_q85_crop_upscale

Piano Recital

Winner 2017 International Franz Liszt Piano Competition

Praised for his subtle interpretations and extraordinary technical mastery, Alender Ullman has impressed audiences and critics worldwide. Winner of the prestigious Franz Liszt Piano Competition in 2017, he has performed with many of the world’s ;leading orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the St Petersburg Philharmonic. This season he is giving concerts with the Moscow State Orchestra, The Beijing NCPA Orchestra and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra as well as others. He is also partnering violinist Barnabas Keleman at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Earlier this year he released an album which includes Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, an item he will perform at his Tenby piano recital which will also include works by Haydn, Beethoven and Liszt.
Alexander Ullman’s recital has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of Mr Nick West

Syria– an inside view

a talk by Diana Darke       

Diana has written ​three books on Syria – My House in DamascusThe Merchant  of Syria and The Last Sanctuary in Aleppo. All are true stories, written from on the ground, inside Syria. She knew the country extremely well even before the war, having travelled all round it extensively, as author of the Bradt guide to Syria. She was preparing its third edition when the war broke out. Diana Darke is a Middle East cultural expert, Arabist, BBC broadcaster and journalist. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and Al Araby. She graduated from Wadham College, Oxford, in 1977, where she studied German and Philosophy/Arabic, then went on to work for the British Government Communications Headquarters and Racal Electronics Plc as an Arabic consultant. In 2005, Diana purchased a 17th-century courtyard house in the Old City of Damascus, which enabled her to become deeply embedded in Syrian society and culture. Diana has returned seven times since the Rebellion began in March 2011 and her links inside the country are deep and ongoing. The house is currently lived in by Syrian refugee friends displaced from their own homes by shelling in the suburbs.  

Gillian Clarke             

National Poet of Wales 2008-2016

Born in Cardiff, Wales Gillian Clarke is a poet, playwright, editor and translator (from Welsh). She is also president and co-founder of Ty Newydd, winner of both the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and the Wilfred Owen Association Poetry Award, as well as a Tutor on M.Phil course in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan. Her poetry is studied by GCSE and A Level students throughout Britain. Her poetry collections include,  A Recipe for Water, Letter from a Far Country and Making the Beds.


Hot Strings Café      

A fantastic group of musicians who bring you jazz in the Brewery. Heulwen Thomas and friends present good-time foot tapping jazz and swing in traditional styles of the 20s and 30s with strong influences of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli in a friendly café bar atmosphere that will raise your spirits and banish the blues.  

Festival Grand Finale

Goodwick Brass Band & Bella Voce in Concert

A winning combination of glamorous ladies, – just check out those shoes – with fabulous voices and some stirring music from instruments ranging from the mighty tuba to the French horn.      


The Festival Grand Finale

fled 2 largewas on the last Saturday of the festival. Swansea City Opera presented A Viennese Whirl!Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 17.12.37   An evening of romantic music from the beautiful city of Vienna, home to the Strauss family and birthplace of the waltz, evoking the magic and music of Vienna and transporting audiences to the banks of the dreamy Danube River. We enjoyed an enchanting evening of singing and soaring violin melodies from some of the most popular Viennese composers including Kreisler, Lehar, Kalman and Johann Strauss, as well as operettas such as ‘The Merry Widow’, ‘Die Fledermaus’ and ‘The Gypsy Baron’. Echoing the wonderful voices of the era and including songs by Richard Tauber, a carefully selected cast of tenor, soprano, violin and piano accompanist performed this amusing and entertaining evening hosted by the charismatic Artistic Director of Swansea City Opera, Brendan Wheatley, who introduced the music of the Viennese greats in his own inimitable style. Soprano Angharad Rees Tenor Alberto Sousa                           Enquiries to:    


Winners of the Window Dressing Competition

First Prize          Paul Sartori Charity Shop

Second Prize     Gift of Glass

Third Prize         The Card Shop

  Congratulations to all who took part – a magnificent effort. And special congratulations to our winner and runners-up.