The Eisteddfod Opening Concert with Only Men Aloud
The opening concert of this year's National Eisteddfod in Blaenau Gwent a Blaenau'r Cymoedd is broadcast live on S4C. It will mark a special birthday and celebrate the Welsh tradition of male voice singing.
Only Men Aloud, the sucessful male voice choir which combines the traditional and contemporary, celebrates its 10th birthday this year. To mark the occasion, they return to their roots to perform in a concert on the National Eisteddfod stage in Ebbw Vale.
The concert will also delve into the roots of male voice singing in Wales, taking us on a musical journey from the time of the Industrial Revolution to the present day.
Actor Richard Harrington, who was born in Merthyr Tydfil, will present the concert, directed by Ken Caswell. Ken was born in Brynmawr and brought up in Tredegar. He's made a name for himself working as a director with theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh on productions in London's West End and across the world, and has now returned to live in Abergavenny.
It's the first time Ken has worked on a production for the National Eisteddfod. "It's very exciting and an honour to have been asked to take part," he says.
The evening's music director will be Tim Rhys-Evans, conductor of Only Men Aloud, who will be received into the Gorsedd of Bards during the Eisteddf0d. Among those taking part in the concert are Tim's new choir, Only Boys Aloud, Tredegar Town band, and a large male voice choir from local choirs.
"This will be a special evening, and a wonderful way to open the Eisteddfod," says Ynyr Williams, Executive Producer for BBC Wales, which provides S4C's main programmes from the festival. "Only Men Aloud are performers of a high standard and they always bring a smile to your face. I'm sure they'll have some surprises for us during the evening."