Dig out your dancing shoes: one day to go!

It’s the big day tomorrow – Brynfest, our four-day festival, kicks off in style with The Golden Age of Broadway show. As we dig out our top hats and polish our dancing shoes, we asked Bryn why he chose to include a Broadway night as part of the festival.

‘It fits into the formula that I have used before at my Faenol Festival in North Wales. I’m always one that’s loved listening and performing Broadway tunes and since the advent of people like, for instance, Michael Ball, Michael Crawford and Elaine Paige, songs from musicals have really been brought into the public eye. I wouldn’t have a festival without an evening of musical theatre.’

Portrait of Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel © Briony Campbell

Are you a fan of musicals?

‘I adore them – they’re so entertaining.  I love My Fair Lady, and I saw Anything Goes in New York which was just tremendous – a real journey down memory lane. 

‘Oddly, last time I was in New York I saw the two theatrical productions that seem to have run away with the Tony Awards, which are Porgy and Bess with Audra McDonald (who, by the way, was one of the artists that came to my festival in North Wales) and I saw One Man, Two Guvnors twice with James Corden. ‘

You’re famous for your opera singing – what is your experience of Broadway tunes?

I grew up with them – they’re songs that I’ve sung and they have been sung to me by my grandparents and parents. They were always very popular in concerts when I was a youngster, even before I went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but I then still used them in miscellaneous concerts we had all over Wales with male voice choirs.  So ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ I would have sung most probably over 1,000 times but still never ever get tired of it.’

Will you be performing in the show tomorrow?

‘I’ll make a brief appearance maybe.  It’s not my bread and butter but I can certainly, hopefully, sing a tune. I’ve brought along some very special guests to make the night go with a swing. We have an icon from Wales, of course, tying everything together, which is Siân Phillips. Emma Williams sang with me when we did the Sweeny Todd in the Royal Festival Hall, and there are many others too. These people work so hard, so to even think that somebody can turn up on a Wednesday night, in the middle of a busy schedule and just give us a concert is really enchanting. I’m very excited to hear them sing!’

If you’re a fan of musicals, there’s still time to book your tickets for tomorrow’s show.



Bryn Terfel appeared on Newsnight last night to talk about his festival Brynfest which is at the Southbank Centre next week. You can also see his encore from Tuesday evening’s concert with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra.

Watch here from 39 mins in >>


Our weekend of free events, workshops and performances is almost finished! We have had a fantastic couple of days exploring the power of art and music to change the world. We have had great responses from loads of people who were here to take part, including this blog  on Sinfini Music. On the matter of Saturday’s concert, The Guardian said that Dudamel displayed ” instinctive virtuosity” and Bachtrack commented that “the power he brought to the music was astonishing”.

We are finishing the weekend with a bang with tonight’s sold out concert by the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel. Watch the live stream of the sold out concert here: www.guardian.co.uk/bolivarlive and join in the conversation on twitter tonight using #bolivarlive.

You can now watch Saturday’s concert in full on the Southbank Centre Classical Music microsite until the end of the summer!


Sounds Venezuela returns to Southbank Centre for a 4 day residency from this Saturday. Although a number of performances are sold-out, there are still some hot tickets available to see the brass and percussion ensemble from the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela on Sunday 24 June at 8pm.

More info / Book tickets


We are pleased Camila Batmanghelidjh, Founder and Director of the charity Kids Company can join us for the Festival of the World Summit: Art will change the world on Monday 25th June. Kids Company regularly demonstrate the power of creativity to change the lives of young people and have recently collaborated with the Royal Academy of Arts on the “Child Hood – The Real Event” exhibition.

“Art unfreezes trauma from a state of explosive potency. The children’s artistic work tends to be aggressive and compulsive but it’s very powerful and uplifting, too.” Camila Batmanghelidjh, The Guardian, Monday 11 June

Book tickets / More info