Eisteddfod: Katherine Jenkins says arts need future support

illustrate, The mezzo-soprano will perform at the International Music Festival in July

  • author, Sarah Easdale
  • Role, bbc news

Singer Katherine Jenkins said it was vital to support Wells’ arts and music so future artists could have the same opportunities she had.

The singer made the remarks while visiting the Llangollen Pavilion ahead of the International Music Festival’s closing concert on July 7.

It’s been a tough few years for the festival, with events canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This has led to financial difficulties and questions about its future, along with rising operating costs and disappointing ticket sales last year.

Ms Jenkins will perform in a series of evening concerts in June and July aimed at reaching new audiences for the Denbighshire Festival.

Sir Tom Jones, Nile Rodgers, Manic Street Preachers and Paloma Faith are some of the other international artists performing this year.

Ms Jenkins said art, music and drama in Wales were part of our “national identity”.

“I think it’s really important that we continue to make sure that future artists are supported and that kids can experience these things at a young age,” she said.

“Without all these opportunities as a young singer, I wouldn’t be here today. I had so many opportunities… from the National Youth Choir, local amateur opera societies and festivals.

“I do think festivals, festivals, are very important. It gives people a chance to come together.”

illustrate, Katherine Jenkins says she ‘wouldn’t be here’ without the opportunities she’s had

The mezzo-soprano recently joined the likes of Sir Bryn Terfel and Michael Sheen in signing a letter to First Minister Vaughan Gething criticizing cuts at the Welsh National Opera (WNO).

She said she was “delighted to be supporting” the Llangollen International Musical Theater Festival to be performing there for a third time, 18 years after she first took to the pavilion stage.

She added that this year’s concert line-up will appeal to all ages.

She said: “It’s great to see the boundaries being pushed further and it’s great for the longevity of the festival.”

illustrate, Sir Tom Jones is one of the international artists performing at Llangollen

This year will mark the 77th edition of the International Music Festival, which was first held in 1947 to promote harmony and goodwill after World War II.

There are expected to be 3,000 contestants from 30 countries.

Artistic director Dave Danford said they “worked really hard” to attract so many global artists, but said the core event was at its heart.

“It has always been important to combine the competition, the true legacy of the festival, and evening concerts that appeal to both the same and different audiences,” he said.

“We need to take care of those core values, but also have events that people want to see,” he said.

“We don’t just want to survive, we want to thrive.”

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