It’s not often that you get the chance to sing alongside an opera master so you have to take the opportunity when you can which is exactly what one youngster from the Vale of Clwyd is trying to do.
Most 11 years old would not be invested in a musical based upon the gruesome times of Sweeney Todd but Owain John from Llansannan is looking to take to the stage with respected tenors Bryn Terfel and Wynne Evans.
Adapted for the big screen in a film starring Johnny Depp, the stage version of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is always a huge hit amongst theatregoers and its dark tone and somber mood set against the backdrop of Victorian London with the accompaniment of a stunning soundtrack is always a winner and has reaped many awards and accolades over the years.
Owain is hopeful of booking his place in the line-up for the performance at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod after an audition in Cardiff. Although set to be singing with Bryn in South Africa in the Only Kids Aloud group later this year, Owain is setting his sights even higher.
“I enjoyed singing the audition and I’m looking forward to singing with Bryn Terfel in South Africa but it would be great to sing with him at Llangollen as well and with Wynne Evans,” said Owain.
“I love singing and I go round Eisteddfods singing duets with my older brother Dafydd Cernyw, who is 13.”
One person who may have a major say in who eventually makes the cast is Eilir Owen Griffiths. He did not sugarcoat how intense the competition for the prestigious spot was when he said: “The standard has been very, very high and it’s been very exciting.
“Everyone is coming very well prepared and they are clearly taking it very seriously but then there is a lot at stake because performing a major role alongside an icon like Bryn Terfel could be the springboard for someone’s career.
“Each of them has had to sing a piece from Sweeney Todd, a song by the character they are trying out for and I’ve been very pleased with the quality of the singing.
“One of our roles at the Eisteddfod is to provide an opportunity for young talent to flourish and there can be no bigger opportunity than to sing alongside a legend like Bryn Terfel.
“Just the chance to actually audition for a role like this is an experience in itself and one which will stand them in good stead in the future.”
The Eisteddfod kicks off on the 8th of July and goes on for six further days. For more information, check out: http://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/