A mother-daughter duo will celebrate their lifelong devotion to the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod by performing together for the first time.
Wrexham residents Helen Hayward and Betty Jones will appear in Calling All Nations with renowned international composer Christopher Tin, which will mark Betty’s 71st festival.
The song-cycle, sung in 12 different languages, sees Grammy award-winning composer Tin conduct soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and the Celebration Chorus in a spectacular international choral and orchestral performance, compared by Classic FM’s Andrew Collins.
Betty said: “My involvement with the Llangollen Eisteddfod began at an early age. My mother and father hosted competitors at our home in Froncysyllte for the first Eisteddfod. You could say that was the beginning of a lifetime of commitment to the festival.
“When I married Arnold, he was told if he wasn’t involved with the l Eisteddfod, he wouldn’t see me for the first week in July every year.
“He signed up! For me, this spirit of togetherness is truly what the Eisteddfod stands for.”
The passion for the festival became a family affair when Helen began volunteering at the Llangollen Eisteddfod and then later introducing her husband Neil, who is the chief steward, and children, confirming three generations of love for the festival.
“I’ve only ever missed two. I even made it to the 1988 festival 10 days after the birth of my son – the ‘Eisteddfod blues’ were just too much to handle,” said Helen.
“This year, not only attending the Llangollen Eisteddfod but performing next to my mum will be truly amazing.”
Betty continued: “I just love the Eisteddfod and this is my second time performing on the International Pavilion stage.
”In 1952 I performed as part of the choir from Llangollen Grammar School – now Ysgol Dinas Bran – and we claimed second place in the children’s competition.
“It was an incredibly special experience for me and really confirmed my love of singing.
“However, I think this year will be even more special as performing alongside my daughter is a once-in-a-lifetime experience we’ll both treasure forever.”
For tickets to see the Celebration Chorus perform Christopher Tin’s Calling All Nations with Elin Manahan Thomas and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra at the Llangollen Eisteddfod, go to www.Llangollen.net
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