Bryn Terfel, Songs and Arias, St David’s Hall

November 1, 2022 by

Sir Bryn Terfel brought his Songs and Arias series of concerts to St David’s Hall, Cardiff for the final night of the tour and it was evident from his first stroll onto the stage that he was playing to an excited home crowd.

For the tour, including this concert, the operatic superstar at the pinnacle of success was joined by rising young singer Meinir Wyn Roberts who, while already attracting strong reviews for her performances elsewhere (see the review of the soprano singing Magda in La Rondine at If Opera on this site, for example), was possibly a relatively new face (and voice) for the Cardiff audience. The singer’s confidence and stage presence were as impressive as her vocal thrills.

Bryn also shared the stage with his wife, the former royal harpist, Hannah Stone and for this Cardiff date (and three other tour dates) the bass baritone was also joined by his long-standing collaborators, Sinfonia Cymru, conducted by Gareth Jones.

The concert itself had a flavour of an evening with Sir Bryn, minus the celebrity audiences asking inane placed questions, as he talked and sang arias that had a special place in his career; anecdotes from student days at the Guildhall and the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World talent show, to meeting Topol when performing Fiddler on the Roof and lockdown concerts.

That was reflected in the choice of songs which included Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Wagner’s Tannhauser, which brought husband and wife together, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Verid’s Falstaff and a selection from the Fiddler on the Roof musical, along with other light pieces from Ivor Novello, a medley of Welsh songs from composer and singing teacher Bryan Davies and finishing with a triple encore (Sunrise, Sunset, Novello’s Her Mother Came Too and Ar Hyd a Nos).

Meinir sang a charming Song to the Moon aria from Rusalka along with Novello’s We’ll Gather Lilacs and shared both operatic and musical duets with Bryn, including Irvin Berlin’s Anything You Can Do.

Young violinist Samuel Staples also deserves special mentioned for exquisite playing of Meditation from Massenet’s Thais.


Meinir Wyn Roberts at If Opera





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