St Davids Cathedral hosts major concerts as part of the Fishguard and West Wales International Music Festival

Opera song
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The Marian bridegroom

St Davids Cathedral will host two major classical music concerts next week, including a world premiere, as part of the Fishguard and West Wales International Music Festival.

The festival has also commissioned composer Geraint Lewis to write a short work for the Marian Consort, a vocal ensemble that performs music from the 15th century to the present day as part of the concert program on Tuesday 30 August.

Born in Cardiff, Lewis has composed around 150 works in almost every genre, including a community opera and a choral symphony.

National Assembly

He was also commissioned to write ‘Afallon’ for the Welsh National Opera Chorus to sing at the opening of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999.

“I am delighted to have been asked to compose for the voices of the Marian Consort in the atmospheric and historic setting of St Davids,” he said.

“I decided to write a setting of ‘Ave Regina Caelorum’ for this Festival concert. It is a prayer usually sung in the Liturgy of the Hours at the end of Compline.

“At one point in writing, I suddenly thought it was a little odd that a Welshman was only writing in Latin for a concert of this kind held in our own ‘Sistine Chapel’ – and I then remembered the poetic translation of the text. by Saunders Lewis which he made in 1938.

“So in the proper middle, those words take over. It is also a modest tribute to Ralph Vaughan Williams in the year of his 150e birthday and remembering his strong ancestry in West Wales.

Llŷr Williams

Renowned Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams returns to the festival on Thursday 1 September at 7.30pm with a recital of music by Haydn, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and Liszt.

Fresh off of his recital debut in Madrid and an appearance at the Capital Region Classical series in Montreal earlier in the year.

Acclaimed for the expressive and communicative character of his interpretations, he performs regularly in prestigious halls and festivals and has performed with all the major British orchestras.

Tickets for both concerts are priced from £12 to £20 with concessions of £5 for under 18s and £1 for under 12s. A festival bus will operate from Cardigan with pick up points in Newport, Dinas, Fishguard and Goodwick.

The Marian Consort will also provide music for the sold-out Saints and Stones tour the next day, a project that includes a bus tour around area churches led by Reverend Richard Davies that gives attendees a taste of the everyone’s story.

Tickets available for all events at

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