ONE of the most talented young tenors in the UK will have a starring role at a concert to launch a top music festival next week.

Welsh National Opera singer Rhodri Prys Jones will be performing at St Asaph Cathedral next Tuesday, June 25, at the curtain raiser for the acclaimed North Wales International Music Festival.

The festival will be staged at the same venue from September 14-28, thanks to support from the Arts Council of Wales and Ty Cerdd.

Other highlights will include performances from pianist Teleri-Siân, the junior and senior piano trios from the William Mathias Music Centre, Côr Cytgan Clwyd and a quartet from the festival’s resident orchestra, NEW Sinfonia.

According to Rhodri Prys Jones, who will be accompanied by pianist Conal Bembridge-Sayers, he is excited about making his North Wales International Music Festival debut during what is a busy year for the 26-year-old from Llanwddyn, near Oswestry.

“It will be a special evening at the cathedral and I’m delighted to have been chosen to perform at the festival’s launch concert,” he said.

An award from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) where he studied led to the young tenor joining Welsh legendary singer Dame Shirley Bassey for dinner.

He said: “I won the 2017 inaugural Shirley Bassey award which is presented to an outstanding young vocalist at the college.

"I performed for her at a gala dinner and then had the pleasure of sitting alongside her for the meal.

“I also won the Ian Stoutzker prize, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding musician at the RWCMD as well as the Janet Price Opera Prize, the Glynne James Scholarship and the Busenhart Morgan-Evans Worshipful Company Award.”

Artistic director Ann Atkinson said: “It’s going to be a very special evening. Rhodri Prys Jones is an amazing talent.

“The theme for this year’s festival will be Mother Earth. So many composers have been inspired by our beautiful world and all the nature within it.

"Beethoven, for example, often used nature as inspiration for his compositions and often said he preferred the company of a tree to that of a human being.

“The evening concert on Thursday, September 26 will feature our resident NEW Sinfonia orchestra performing Beethoven’s Symphony No 6, Pastorale.

"Each movement of the symphony is inspired by nature. It’s a very special and famous piece of music. Welsh mezzo-soprano Rebecca Afonwy-Jones will join the orchestra to perform Elgar’s Sea Pictures.”

Launch concert tickets are £10 and they are available from Cathedral Frames, 28 High Street, St Asaph on 01745 582929 (open Tuesday-Friday, 10am-4.30pm).

Alternatively, e-mail

Festival tickets will go on sale after the launch concert.