An “inspirational” young singer who overcame a rare kidney condition has landed a dream role to perform with opera superstar Sir Bryn Terfel.
Joseph Elwy Jones, 11, will take to the stage at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod as the Shepherd Boy in Puccini’s classic opera Tosca.
The concert on Tuesday, July 4, which is being sponsored by arts-loving care organisation Pendine Park, also features two other world-class opera stars, soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Kristian Benedikt. Joseph won the role after a tough audition against the cream of young Welsh singers - thanks to the extra lessons from the headteacher at his school, Ysgol Gwenffrwd, in Holywell.
He was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome in 2013 but it cleared up after treatment, including steroids, and he hasn’t had any reoccurrence.
Football and guitar player Joseph is now fully recovered and he can’t wait to meet and sing with his idol, Sir Bryn Terfel.
Joseph, who lives in Lixwm, was thrilled when he heard he had been chosen as the Shepherd Boy.
He said: “After the audition I had to wait about a week. Then, I was at school and the head teacher Miss Owen came into class and told me the good news. I was speechless!
“I was amazed and I can’t wait to meet Sir Bryn Terfel. I’m taking loads of paper with me because all my friends have asked me to get Sir Bryn’s autograph.”
According to mum Abigail, a teacher at Ysgol Llywelyn, in Rhyl, the whole family was extremely proud.
“His sister Sophia, seven, is learning how to play the keyboards and his dad, David, who teaches English at Flint High School, has two drum kits. It’s quite a musical family!
“His headteacher at Ysgol Gwenffrwd Iola Owen has helped him, and lots of other children, prepare for competitions at the Urdd Eisteddfod.
”It’s fitting in a way that he has been chosen to play the Shepherd Boy in Tosca because his great grandfather Victor Thomas, who was the head of a veterinary practice in Caerwys, kept sheep all his life.”
Ynyr Lewys Rogers, 12, from Ruthin, a pupil at the town’s Ysgol Brynhyfryd, has been chosen as Joseph’s understudy.
See full story in the Free Press