With a brand new adaptation of a Welsh language classic, a world-wide premiere of an original biopic and the return of the Pavilion Gig, the Cardiff National Eisteddfod evening line-up offers visitors an ambitious and unique programme.
The Eisteddfod Pavilion is located in the Donald Gordon Theatre within the Wales Millennium Centre, which lends itself to new and bold ideas, taking advantage of the facilities and equipment available in a world class venue.
Eisteddfod Artistic Director and Organiser, Elen Elis, said, “We are particularly proud of this year’s programme. The venue has enabled us to be more ambitious and adventurous, and I hope the audience will enjoy what we have to offer this year.
“This is the first major announcement about the Cardiff Eisteddfod, which is going to be a slightly different festival due to its experimental and urban nature. Having said that, Cardiff Bay is a fantastic location for the Maes, and the combination of its iconic permanent buildings such as the Wales Millennium Centre, the Senedd and the Pierhead Building, coupled with our attractive temporary structures like the Tŷ Gwerin yurt and the Caffi Maes B tepees will be very exciting.
“It’s also a chance for us to look at the Eisteddfod in a new and different way, and I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone to the Bay in four months time and to hear their views and opinions on the experiment.
“But before then, our tickets go on sale next week on 3 April, and we have a varied and exciting programme which will appeal to people of all ages.
“We are delighted to welcome Sir Bryn Terfel back to the Pavilion stage for the first time in a decade, to perform a brand new original work by Mererid Hopwood and Robat Arwyn. And of course, we couldn’t have an Eisteddfod in Cardiff without Geraint Jarman, and he will be headlining the Pavilion Gig, which is sure to be the highlight of the festival for many, with the iconic Band Pres Llareggub also performing with the Welsh Pops Orchestra.
“Pendevig may be a new name, but the performers are well known to us all as members of bands like Calan, Mabon and Plu. This brand new band will be hot-footing it back from the opening concert at the Lorient Festival in Brittany, as the Tŷ Gwerin explodes on the Pavilion stage in an unexpected and striking way.
“And with an evening with some of Wales’ best young poets presenting the ‘Siwpyr Stomp’, and a brand new adaptation of Teilwng yw’r Oen and a different twist on some of Wales’ most iconic pop songs, our hope is that it’s a programme which will appeal to our regular visitors as well as reaching out to a new audience to give them a taste of Welsh culture at its best.”
The Eisteddfod is held in Cardiff Bay from 3-11 August. Tickets on sale from 3 April from www.eisteddfod.wales or by ringing the ticketline on 0845 4090 800. Tickets available online from 08.30 and via the ticketline from 10.00 on 3 April.
For more information on the Eisteddfod go online or ring 0845 4090 900.
EVENING PROGRAMME DETAILS
Friday and Saturday 3-4 August
Sir Bryn Terfel is the star of Hwn yw fy Mrawd: Paul Robeson - Arwr i Gymru, Arwr i’r Byd, a biopic depicting the life of actor and singer, Paul Robeson and his strong links with Wales. We follow Robeson’s life through the eyes of his greatest fan, Mr Jones, played by Sir Bryn Terfel, as he regales Twm, a young man searching for a hero, with stories of Robeson’s fight against oppression.
Twm is portrayed by Steffan Cennydd, and other soloists include former national winners, John Ieuan Jones, Elain Llwyd, Elin Llwyd, Steffan Prys Roberts and Mared Williams. They are joined by renowned Birmingham ensemble, Black Voices, winners of the 2016 National Eisteddfod Festival Choir, Côrdydd, a youth choir from the Eisteddfod area, and dancer, Matthew Gough.
Libretto by Mererid Hopwood and music by Robat Arwyn. Directed by Betsan Llwyd. Friday evening’s performance takes place sixty years to the day since Paul Robeson addressed the Eisteddfod crowd at the 1958 festival in Ebbw Vale.
Sunday 5 August
There’ll be a few changes to the Pavilion schedule on Sunday as the Oedfa’r Bore (Morning Worship) is held in the Literary Pavilion and the Cymanfa Ganu (Congregational Singing) on the Pavilion stage on Sunday morning. The evening concert is a brand new adaptation of a highly popular favourite, Teilwng yw’r Oen. Mei Gwynedd and John Quirk have worked together on the musical adaptation of Handel’s Messiah, with the words revised by John Gwilym Jones.
This is the Eisteddfod Choir’s concert this year. The choir has over 300 members and has been rehearsing over the winter. They’ll also be performing Geraint Cynan’s adaptations of some of Wales’ best pop songs combined with famous classical tunes. The evening’s soloists are Rebecca Trehearn, Mirain Haf and Daniel Lloyd.
Monday 6 August
Welcome to the Siwper Stomp, the biggest poetry competition this millennium! Silly and sombre performances with you – the audience – in charge.
Join Aneurig (Aneirin Karadog & Eurig Salisbury), Gwennan Evans, Gwyneth Glyn, Rhys Iorwerth, Osian Rhys Jones, Siân Northey, Gruffudd Owen, Iwan Rhys and Casia Wiliam, from Bragdy’r Beirdd, for an evening of poetry, music and a few surprises...
Tuesday 7 August
Geraint Jarman brings the Eisteddfod Pavilion alive this evening as the Pavilion Gig returns for the third year.
Presenter Huw Stephens is joined by pop scene favourites, Band Pres Llareggub with the Welsh Pops Orchestra also returning with fabulous orchestral adaptations which will wow the Eisteddfod audience.
Thursday 9 August
Pendevig push the boundaries of Welsh music on the Pavilion stage on Thursday evening as members of bands like Calan, Mabon and Plu come together to perform their unique combination of traditional Welsh music coupled with jazz, funk and drum’n’bass. Fiddles and pipes mixed with brass, synths and strong rhythms.
Fresh from celebrating Wales at the Lorient International Festival, this is a new dawn of Welsh music exploding energetically on the National Eisteddfod stage.