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Book your place for opera celebration

16 October 2008

fireworks millenium centre

Only a few days remain for University staff to book their places at the highlight of the University’s 125th anniversary celebrations – the spectacular gala concert with international opera stars at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Two renowned Welsh singers, the internationally-acclaimed tenor Dennis O’Neill CBE and Grammy Award-winning soprano Rebecca Evans, lead the line-up on Sunday October 19, performing some of the world’s best-loved opera songs and classical music.

Compèred by BBC presenter and Cardiff graduate Huw Edwards, the evening will also feature a specially-created fanfare tribute to the University, written by leading international composer Karl Jenkins – himself another Cardiff graduate. Past and present international students from the Cardiff International Academy of Voice will also sing, as will the School of Music’s own highly-regarded Chamber Choir. They will be accompanied by the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, hailed by critics as one of the finest ensembles in the world. There will also be the world première of Somewhere Unknown, a symphonic movement by Liz Lane, a School of Music postgraduate working on a PhD in composition.

The Gala is kindly sponsored by St David’s Partnership with tickets priced at £30/£20/£15. There is a special 10% discount for all Cardiff University members of staff, details of which can be found on the University NoticeBoard. Tickets are available now from the Wales Millennium Centre’s Ticket and Information Office. Phone 08700 40 2000 or book online at

Professor Ken Woodhouse, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, said: "We hope that as many members of staff as possible will join Dennis O’Neill, Rebecca Evans and Huw Edwards for what promises to be a spectacular celebration."

Dennis O’Neill is one of the world’s leading operatic tenors and has made a variety of principal appearances, particularly in roles in Verdi operas at Munich, Vienna, Chicago and Paris. In 2007, he became Director of the unique Cardiff International Academy Voice, a highly specialised and unique training environment for a small number of exceptional operatic singers based at the University.

Rebecca Evans was born in South Wales and is an internationally-recognised Soprano who has performed in New York, San Francisco, Munich, at Covent Garden and the Proms. She frequently performs with the Welsh National Opera, recently receiving excellent reviews as Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Twenty five years after graduating BBC presenter and Cardiff University alumnus Huw Edwards is returning to his roots to join in the celebrations, as the evening's host. Huw is a BAFTA award-winning journalist, known to millions of viewers as main presenter of the BBC’s flagship 10 O’Clock News, as well as a number of documentaries on his native Wales.