top of page
Airy Heights (Valhalla).jpg

Family Opera Afternoon - about the show

Scroll down to find out about the artists, 
about the film, about the concert, including a detailed song list with info and links to videos

What’s happening?


Saturday May 11, 2024, MOMA Machynlleth
2:30-4:30 pm

Family Opera Afternoon: Film (Brunnhilde) – Concert (audience chooses items from a menu of opera, musical theatre, folk songs)

Suitable for adults and school aged children

£15 (adults) £13 (pensioners) £10 (under eighteen) Bookings MOMA  01654


Dydd Sadwrn Mai 11, 2024, MOMA Machynlleth

2:30-4:30 pm

Prynhawn Opera Teuluol: Ffilm – Cyngerdd/Concert

Addas i oedolion a phlant oedran ysgol

£15 (oedolion) £13 (pensiynwyr) £10 (dan ddeunaw) Archebion MOMA  01654

Who’s involved?

Producer/at the piano              Dr David Kram       


Dr David Kram AM, Artistic Director of the MTO-German-Australian

Opera Grant and of Concertori Recordings (USA) and Senior Fellow, The University of Melbourne, is a distinguished conductor, artistic director, academic, composer and pianist in Australia, Europe and Asia.  

In 2020 David was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the performing arts, to opera and chamber choirs, and to education”.

Conducting positions include Kapellmeister, Stadttheater Basel; Erster Kapellmeister, Nationaltheater Mannheim; Resident Conductor, The Australian Opera, and Music Director, State Opera of South Australia.

David gained a PhD in musicology from Monash University, Melbourne in 2000. He was Head of Opera at the Victoria College of the Arts 1996-2006 and Senior Lecturer at Melbourne University until 2010.

Guest conducting 2016-2023 has included a CD with Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Pecan Summer and Eumeralla for Short Black Opera; Così fan tutte for Iopera; the world premiere of Alon Trigger’s Kristallnacht Cantata and, for Melbourne Opera, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Der Rosenkavalier and Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

David returns to Europe for part of 2024 for a number of artistic projects including teaching and lecturing. He will also launch his own production ‘Family Opera Afternoon’ in the UK. This includes his multimedia version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, condensed to sixty minutes.

Baritone                                       John Ieuan Jones

Welsh baritone John Ieuan Jones graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2019, generously supported by the Drapers’ Company, D’Oyly Carte Trust, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, and the George Henry Peters Scholarship.

He has worked with some of the UK’s leading opera and theatre companies, including Welsh National Opera, Grange Park Opera, and The National Theatre, London. Recent roles include Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Maximilian (Candide), Claudio (Beatrice & Benedict), and Marcello (La bohème).

Ieuan has traveled extensively throughout the UK and internationally as a guest soloist in various concerts. Notable highlights include being guest soloist at the Festival of Male Voice Choirs at The Royal Albert Hall and his collaboration with Sir Bryn Terfel in the opening show of the National Eisteddfod at the Millennium Centre. Additionally, he has participated in opera galas held at prestigious venues such as the Bridgewater Hall and St. David’s Hall. In 2018, he was invited to perform at the North America Festival of Wales in Washington, DC and following this, Ieuan participating in a series of concerts in Philadelphia as part of the same festival in 2022. Last year, he travelled to Ottawa to perform at the Ontario Festival of Wales.

Ieuan is more than an opera singer. He performs in musicals and in straight theatre, most recently at the National Theatre. He’s a familiar face on Welsh television channel S4C and is also a harpist. When he's not performing, you'll find Ieuan exploring the Welsh mountain roads on his motorbike.

Soprano                                              Sky Ingram        

Sky Ingram is an Australian soprano, of English, Scottish and Norwegian ancestry, who trained at the Elder Conservatorium, WA Academy of Performing Arts, Guildhall School Opera Course, and the National Opera Studio in London. Sky has performed oratorio, concert and recital repertoire around Australia, the UK, New York, Norway, France, and Germany, and has sung on ABC and BBC radio. Music awards & scholarships include; Opera Awards Foundation Bursary, 5MBS Young Performer of the Year, SA Young Achiever of the Year, Royal Overseas League Trophy, Scholarships to GSMD & NOS, and is a George Boland, Australian Music Foundation, Tait Memorial, and Wingate Scholar. 


Previous roles include: Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera), Rusalka/Rusalka (Valladolid, Spain), Lea/Glare & Venus/Orpheus (Royal Opera House UK), Avis/The Wreckers (Bard SummerScape, New York), Fiordiligi/Cosi fan tutte, Musetta/La Bohème & Dido/Dido and Aeneas (ETO), Helena/A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Musetta/La Bohème , Katya cvr./Katya Kabanova, Alcina cvr./Alcina (Opera North), La Contessa/Le Nozze di Figaro (Kristiansand Norway & Nevill Holt Opera).


Recently Sky debuted with the Hallé Orchestra in their Viennese Concert tour, Foreign Princess/Rusalka with Garsington Opera & the Edinburgh International Festival, Female Chorus/The Rape of Lucretia with The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the title role of Fedora for IF Opera. Upcoming roles include; Woglinde cvr./Rheingold and Götterdämmerung in Wagner’s Ring Cycle for Longborough Festival Opera, Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte for State Opera South Australia and Sieglinde/Die Walküre for Saffron Opera Group.

Tenor                                                    Roberto Abate

Perth-born Roberto Abate relocated to the UK in 2012 to pursue a Master's degree at the Wales International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill, as a recipient of the Australian International Opera Awards scholarship and the Tait Memorial Trust Frank and Viola Tait Award. 


Roberto is excited to journey into the Wagner repertoire for Brunnhilde under the direction of David Kram. 


In April Roberto will perform Radames in Kentish Opera’s production of Aida.


In 2023 Roberto performed Don José for St Paul’s Opera and Saro in the Armenian Opera Anoush for the London Armenian Opera. His European debut in 2017 saw him as Don José for the International Bel Canto Academy in collaboration with Opera Noord-Holland-Noord.


In the UK, Roberto's performances have included Azael in The Prodigal Son (Pegasus Opera), covering Don Carlos at Grange Park Opera, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and covering Cavaradossi in Tosca at Opera North. He has also covered Canio in I Pagliacci for Opera North and performed the role with Kentish Opera. 


Other notable UK performances include Don José in Carmen at The Grange Festival and Opera-Up-Close, various roles at Grange Park Opera such as the Bandit in Don Quixote, Parpignol in La bohème, and the First Philistine in Samson et Dalila (Grange Park Opera). Additionally, he has appeared as Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with Bury Port Opera, Rodolfo in La bohème with Regents Opera and King’s Head Theatre, and Fenton in Falstaff with (Fulham Opera/Grimeborn/Woodhouse Opera/Wilton’s Music Hall), Luigi Il Tabarro (Opera Vera/ Fulham Opera) among others.


Roberto has sung the tenor solos in Verdi's Requiem, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B minor, and appeared as soloist in the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s Gala Concert with Sumi Jo in 2010, and Opera Gala with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Dennis O’Neill at the Wales Millennium Centre in 2012.

About the film


The film ’Brunnhilde’ is an animated story. Alberich has made a ring of power. His enemy, Wotan, steals it but is forced to give it away. Who will gain the Ring? Wotan’s daughter Brunnhilde saves the world by giving it back to nature, from where it began. The live sound track is from Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, performed by three young talented professional opera singers with piano. 

The original production The Ring.Wagner.Animated, of which Brunnhilde is a condensed version,   was produced by the Australian Melbourne-based company More Than Opera. It won awards in 2012 and subsequently toured in Australia.

Featuring Sky Ingram “Ingram dazzled in the title role-hers is a sumptuous voice.” Ieuen Jones “What a year! Performing all over the world!”, Roberto Abate “Accomplished professional Australian tenor” Dr David Kram “Member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the performing arts, to opera and chamber choirs, and to education”.



Mae’r ffilm ‘Brunnhilde’ yn stori sydd wedi’i hanimeiddio. Mae Alberich wedi creu cylch o bŵer. Mae Wotan, ei elyn, yn ei ddwyn ond yn cael ei orfodi i roi o i ffwrdd. Pwy fydd yn ennill y fodrwy? Mae merch Wotan, Brunnhilde yn achub y byd trwy roi’r fodrwy nol i natur, lle chafwyd ei greu yn y lle cyntaf. Mae’r trac sain byw yn dod o’r ‘Ring Cycle’ gan Richard Wagner, ac yn cael ei berfformio gan dri chanwr opera ifanc proffesiynol gyda phiano. Mae cyngerdd yn dilyn y sioe, gyda bwydlen o ganeuon yn cael eu dewis gan y gynulleidfa.

About the concert

Following a 15-minute interval: The singers have a list of items from opera, musicals, popular standards and folk ballads. These will be made available to the audience, who can choose a forty-minute program. 

Here's the list!


Background information compiled by Dr David Kram AM

(with a contribution from Sir Bryn Terfel for the Welsh songs)


Dear Family Opera Afternoon audience,

You’ve  become acquainted with the three singers as they perform a live sound track to the Brunnhilde film. Now is your opportunity to get to know them as artists in their own right. We’ve selected eighteen numbers for you to choose from. To make things easier, we’ve assigned each item a number. There will be a box on the front of the stage with pieces of paper, just put up to three numbers, or you can write “artists’ choice”). We’ll do our best within the time frame to comply with your wishes. First, a table of contents, then the information on each one.


1        La donna è mobile. 1

2        Libiamo (Brindisi) 2

3        Nessun dorma. 2

4        O Mimì, tu più non torni 3

5        O mio babbino caro. 3

6        O soave fanciulla. 4

7        Song to the Moon. 4

8        Toreador Song. 5

9        Vissi d’arte. 5

10      Love unspoken (‘Lippen schweigen’) 6

11      Maria. 6

12      Some Enchanted Evening. 7

13      Summertime. 7

14      Can yr Arad Goch (The Red Plough) (Ceiriog) 8

15      Gwynfyd – Y Cymro. 8

16      Cor  ‘ngrato. 8



1         La donna è mobile

 from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (Roberto)

THE ARIA – this is a man talking about how woman are fickle. In actual fact, the man who’s singing (the Duke of Mantova) is the most fickle of the lot. An utter scoundrel! This song became an instant hit and has remained so, including in spaghetti ads.

THE OPERA – Rigoletto is a court jester to the Duke of Mantova and encourages his womanising, until his own daughter is taken advantage of by the Duke. This provokes Rigoletto to arrange an assassination  plot, which goes terribly wrong.

THE COMPOSER – Verdi (1813-1893) was the greatest Italian composer of the nineteenth century and his operas have remained in the repertory and become legendary. He was not a one-hit phenomenon but gained fame with Nabucco, where the chorus of Hebrew slaves ‘Va, pensiero’ became an unofficial Italian national anthem. His middle period operas including La Traviata, Il Trovatore and Rigoletto are still hits and his later operas including Aïda, Otello and Falstaff are works of genius. Most people have heard of Aïda but check out Otello – the opening  will blow you away.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK to La donna è mobile -

Oh yes, a spaghetti ad -

2         Libiamo (Brindisi)

from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi (Sky, Roberto)

THE ENSEMBLE – There are many ‘toasting’ songs, in honour of life’s enjoyments. In this popular ensemble, the word ‘libiamo’ demands genteel sipping, but ‘quaffing’, suggesting pouring down your throat. The tenor turns this toast into a love song, as he’s infatuated with the hostess of the party.   The soprano teases him, saying that life is not about love, it’s about partying.

THE OPERA – La Traviata (implying “the woman who went off the rails”) is a sad love story about a courtesan (a girl friend who gets paid) who tries to redeem herself through a real love affair but is stymied by the traditional upper-class society in which she moves. Not only that, but she’s also suffering from a chronic disease, which kills her in the end. This story was quite unusual for the times (mid nineteenth-century), when many operas looked back to history rather than contemporary life.

THE COMPOSER – Having become famous and having written quite a few operas, Verdi decided he wanted to do something different, and chose this. It went down as one of the worst premieres ever, partly because the audience wasn’t used to seeing their nastier selves mirrored on stage – and the casting was mediocre – and you need really good singing actors to give this ever-popular opera star treatment. Then it was recognised for its true worth and has held the stage ever since.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK  - a real party atmosphere here with operatic stars

3         Nessun dorma

from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini (Roberto)

THE ARIA – Made famous by the Three Tenors, this is quite a macho song, implying that the tenor will, when dawn comes, conquer with passion the woman who has been trying to kill him  all night. “Nessun dorma” means “no-one is allowed to sleep tonight”, as the Princess of China has ordered all the residents of Peking (Beijing) to hunt down the man who dared tom solve the three riddles set by her, riddles so difficult that no suitor had been able to solve them – therefore “off with their heads”! Why” Because Princess Turandot loathed men. She wanted revenge for the abuse meted on one of her ancestors.

THE OPERA – Puccini had become world-famous and incredibly rich. At the same time, he was a chain-smoker. This caused throat cancer, which killed him before he could complete this, his last opera – Turandot. Puccini had always been fascinated with death. He also wanted to modernise his music, without losing touch with the public. This makes Turandot one of the most interesting musically. Just listen to the harmonies of the beginning of ‘Nessun dorma’ – so daring, so atmospheric.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – Not Pavarotti this one – Wales’  very own Dennis O’Neill.

4         O Mimì, tu più non torni

Duet from La bohème by Puccini (Roberto, Ieuan)

THE DUET – This short but poignant duet is about two young men who are trying to work but can’t get out of their mind the fact that they’ve lost the loves of their lives. They’re actually not singing to each other, but, lost in their thoughts, are in their own worlds. The operatic repertoire is full of such moments of people thinking aloud to beautiful music.

THE OPERA – After a few really good operas, La bohème was Puccini’s first great hit – and it still remains front and centre of the opera repertoire The word literally means ‘Bohemia’, which is a region in the Czech Republic, but it was applied in past years to what we would now call “hippies”. In this case, a would-be poet and a would-be painter, sharing a cramped apartment at the top of a freezing cold dump in Paris with a musician and a philosopher, scrounging food - and hopelessly in love with two women, also on the fringes of society.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – These amazing singers – tenor Jussi Björling and baritone Robert Merrill - singers made this duet incredibly popular in the 1960s, so here it is -

5         O mio babbino caro

from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini (Sky)

THE ARIA “O mio babbino caro”, literally “Oh, my darling daddykins” could have been a sardonically comic aria in another composer’s hands, because the soprano is threatening to throw herself in the river unless her dad commits a criminal act in order that she and her lover will have enough money to get married. But who cares! Puccini, in the middle of a roustabout farce, dropped a measure of pure honey which has charmed audiences ever since the Australian soprano Joan Hammond made it a hit in the 1950s.

THE OPERA Gianni Schicchi means “Johnny Schicchi”, one of the characters in the medieval poem Divine Comedy by Dante who is sent down to hell because he forged a will by pretending to be the millionaire who had just died. In the process he re-dictates the will, leaving all the millionaire’s  money to himself.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – This clip is a concert performance by one of the greatest opera performers ever – Maria Callas. She was able just by her eyes to create a whole magic world, and had a voice to match.,vid:l1C8NFDdFYg,st:0

6         O soave fanciulla

duet from La bohème by Giacomo Puccini (Sky and Roberto)

THE DUET – 'O Mimì, to più non torni' is from the last act of La bohème, when the love affairs have frayed and dissipated. This one is from the First Act. The poet has just met the sewing-girl Mimì – and they have fallen instantly in love. The poet has his heart on his sleeve. The sewing-girl is a bit more shy, which was the way women were supposed to act in former times. “ O soave fanciulla”  is an extremely poetic way of saying “Girl, you look so beautiful” – as the girl is standing there bathed in moonlight.

THE OPERA – The structure of the opera is actually not a story from beginning to end but episodes from a story. This scene, on a cold pre-Christmas night, introduces the characters and starts one love affair, The next scene is set just a little later when the two new lovers join their friends in a Parisian street café. This is where we meet the other pair of lovers, who are going through a stormy patch. The third part is set a few months later. It’s even colder and everything is going horribly wrong. The last part is set in Springtime. Still no reconciliation but life goes on and the four friends make the best of it. Suddenly the sewing girl is brought in at death’s door. All through the opera she’s been riddled with tuberculosis, a fatal lung disease, and now it’s the end. A real tear-jerker.

 SUGGESTED YOUTUBE RECORDING – This is one of the rare operas produced for TV and features two of the greatest operatic voices – Jussi Björling and Renata Tebaldi. Björling may not be the greatest actor nor Tebaldi the youngest Mimì but their voices and their musicianship make up for all that


7         Song to the Moon

from Rusalka by Antonin Dvořák (Sky)

THE ARIA – This is like a hymn to the moon, sung by a water-nymph (called Rusalka) who falls in love with a human. The only way for her to realise this love is to become a human herself through a great sacrifice. Rusalka asks the moon, which shines on all and sundry, to illuminate her love and make him think of her with love. The libretto is in the Czech language.

THE OPERA – What do fairy tales tell us? About life. Fairy tales are often international. The theme of this one is about someone making huge changes in their life in order to achieve their goals, in this case the goal of love and marriage. In this case Rusalka is doomed because even though she does become a human and does marry her love, she’s rejected by the society he lives in.

THE COMPOSER – Dvořák was a nineteen-century Czech composer, the most famous from that country. People who love classical music will know his New World Symphony with its haunting slow movement

Rusalka quickly became his most popular opera.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK This is Czechoslovakia’s most famous soprano – Lucia Popp, singing this beloved aria.


8         Toreador Song

from Carmen by Georges Bizet (Ieuan)

THE ARIA – Less an aria than a vivid description of a Spanish bullfight in two verses. The first verse describes the entry of the brave Toreador into the bullring, the second verse is a lurid description of the bullfight itself, with the refrain “Toreador, keep your guard up because your girl friend is watching you avidly (“Two dark eyes are watching you”. He means Carmen, the magnetic, fierce gypsy who turns everybody’s life upside down. It’s sung in French. Actually, there’s no such Spanish word as ‘Toreador’ ; it’s a concoction of ‘torero’ (bullfighter) and ‘matador’ (the torero who actually slays the bull).

THE OPERA – Georges Bizet, the nineteenth-century French composer, had a short, difficult life as a composer. This was his last opera and he only survived to see it a complete flop in Paris. After his death though it became number one hit all over the world. It’s all about the outcast (gypsy), having a love-affair with a Basque soldier who doesn’t understand gypsy ways. Basque people (north-east Spain and part of France) are said to be very fierce. When Carmen tires of the soldier and gets interested in the Toreador, the soldier becomes insanely jealous, but in her culture, love is meant to be free.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – This is from a film of the opera with a great cast and an interesting setting in a gypsy camp


9         Vissi d’arte

from Tosca by Giacomo Puccini (Sky)

THE ARIA – This is actually a prayer to God, sung by a very religious woman, a famous opera singer called Floria Tosca who lives in a turbulent time in Rome. Her lover has been captured by an evil powerful man who will only stop torturing him if Tosca will be his. Caught in this desperate situation, she reproaches God. She has given everything, her time, her talent, her treasure, in His name – why is he forsaking her in this hour of trial?

THE OPERA – Tosca is Puccini’s most melodramatic operas, a real thriller, set in  a tense political environment and reeking with the rich colours of Rome, its pomp and its cruelty. Not ancient Rome – a Rome besieged by Napoleon in the early nineteenth century.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK -  Even if it’s not synced properly, this clip shows the opulence of the setting, the cruel face of the villain and Tosca’s utter despair, well portrayed by the famous Bulgarian soprano Raina Kabaivanska.


10      Love unspoken (‘Lippen schweigen’)

 Duet from The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe) by Franz Lehár (Sky and Ieuan)

THE DUET – all through the show, the leading lady and leading man have been skirting around each other, not willing to say that they are in love with each other. Finally, they express their love in music, with a romantic waltz.

THE OPERETTA – Operetta lies between opera and music theatre. It is generally a comedy, it has spoken dialogue and has a wider audience appeal. The most famous operetta, premiered in 1905, is  this one, with Hannah as the widow from Ruritania having a great time in Paris. In the show, no-one talks about her deceased husband but everybody is after the huge money she has inherited – except the man she’s secretly in love with – a man who seems not to care – until “Love unspoken” right at the end.

THE COMPOSER – The Austro-Hungarian empire had as its capital Vienna and second most important city Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Although the operetta genre originated in Paris in the nineteenth century, it was these two cities who really developed its popularity until American musical theatre took over after World War Two. Franz Lehár was a Hungarian  military bandmaster who settled in Vienna and became famous world-wide. It was The Merry Widow which brought him to fame. Check out some of his other works and you’ll see that they have glorious melodies and rich orchestration.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – This clip was chosen for its Viennese charm. David Kram was lucky enough to work with Annelies Rothenburger for a German TV show – she was as charming in real life as she appears in this clip.

11      Maria

from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein (Roberto)

THE SONG – This is a soliloquy – a song where the actor or singer shares their thoughts with the audience, but singing as if to themselves. Tony sings about a girl he has met – Maria. He loves this girl and he loves her name – so much, he has to repeat it over and over again.

THE MUSICAL – West Side Story, premiered in New York in 1957, marked a new, grittier phase in American musicals, a tougher, more tragic approach where modern dancing was central to its success. The librettist, Stephen Sondheim was a genius with words and his own musicals are legendary. The composer, Leonard Bernstein was one of those charismatic artists who could do everything – composer, conduct, teach. Audiences may has seen the 2023 film ‘Maestro’ about aspects of his life.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – As this song is so well known, we’ve provided a karaoke link with the words so you can singalong at your leisure.

12      Some Enchanted Evening

from South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein (Ieuan)

THE SONG – Described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as “the greatest song ever to come out of an American musical”, it’s about how you have to follow your feelings with actions. If you fall in love, don’t stifle that love but nourish the relationship with ardour.

THE MUSICAL – By the premiere on South Pacific in 1949, Rodgers and Hammerstein had become famous by creating material which went further than the prevailing glitz and glamour. They wanted to show real people with real emotions. The story of a plantation owner and his love affair with an American nurse also involves a critique of racism and is set against a backdrop of the Pacific in the Second World War. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1950.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – This rather long clip was chosen to show the subtle emotional vibes between the two protagonists and put the song into context. The actual song starts about four and a half minutes into the clip.

13      Summertime

from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin (Sky)

THE SONG – In some shows there are songs which don’t have anything to do with the plot as such but create and atmosphere, an ambience. Such is ‘Summertime’, a lullaby sung in the first scene to help set the scene of a black slum waterfront area of Charleston, South Carolina.

THE OPERA – Based on a novel by DuBose Heyward, The original opera, a tragic love story,  ran for four hours.  It has since been adapted for stage and screen many times. Though the composer and librettist were white, they insisted on an all-black cast, a practice which has persisted. Porgy is a disabled beggar who strives to rescue Bess from her downtrodden life, at the mercy of an abusive lover and a corrupt drug dealer. It’s regarded as the greatest American opera. Premiered in 1935, Porgy and Bess is recognised by the US government as being culturally significant and is South Carolina’s official opera.

THE COMPOSER, LIBRETTIST and LYRICS WRITER – George Gershwin (1898-1937) and his older brother Ira were born in Brooklyn to Russian-Jewish parents. They became immensely popular for their songs. George was also a great jazz pianist; his ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is iconic  ( George died prematurely from a brain tumour.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – This may not be the original version but it’s hard to bypass a genius of jazz singing like Ella Fitzgerald – and as a bonus, here’s another treatment from another jazz great



14      C­an yr Arad Goch (The Red Plough) (Ceiriog)

 by Idris Lewis (Ieuan)

These articles were written by Sir Bryn Terfel, who included the songs on his album Songs of my Welsh Home

The Welsh poet John Hughes (1832-1887), who took the bardic name Ceiriog, is known as the “Robert Burns of Wales.” Like the great Scottish poet, he sought to express his love for his homeland through poems written in the simple, sincere language of the common people, drawing upon themes of patriotism, the joys of country life, and the simple pleasures of love. His poem Cân yr arad goch (Song of the red plough) sings the praises of rural life through the eyes of the traditional farmer and his daily companion, the plough. It was set to music by Idris Lewis (1889-1952), the son of a Welsh coal miner who became an important figure in Welsh music, principally for his pioneering work as musical director of the BBC for the Cardiff region, as well as for his film scores and choral arrangements. (by Sir Bryn Terfel)

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK sung by Sir Bryn Terfel

15      Gwynfyd – Y Cymro

by Meirion Williams

The pianist, organist, conductor, and composer William Robert Williams (1901- 1976), who early in life took the name Meirion, was a major contributor to the development of Welsh art song. A musical patriot, he was much attracted to the simple pleasures of the Welsh countryside and the native virtues of his fellow Welshmen, which he expressed in a passionate, melodious style that has much in common with the late Romanticism of Rachmaninoff and Richard Strauss. It would be easy to conclude that the “land of beauty and of peace” in his Gwynfyd (Paradise) is Wales, while no intuition at all is required to recognize the patriotic fervour behind his stirring setting of Y Cymro (The Welshman). (by Sir Bryn Terfel)

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK sung by Sir Bryn Terfel

16      Cor  ‘ngrato

by Salvatore Cardillo (Roberto)

THE SONG – also known as ‘Catarì’, is a Neapolitan song published in 1911. Catarì is short for Catarina (Catherine) and cor ‘ngrato means ungrateful heart. The lament of the song is evident. It was made famous by the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso.

THE COMPOSER Salvatore Cardillo (1874-1947) was a Neapolitan who emigrated to the USA. This was his most famous song, but written in America, to words by a fellow Neapolitan.

SUGGESTED YOUTUBE LINK – Caruso himself, a remastered recording originally from 1911

email for more information

bottom of page