Theatre in Wales

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Edmond Fivet, Principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD), the National Conservatoire of Wales, is pleased to announce Honorary Fellowships for 2002.

This year, the persons recognised for their outstanding contributions to the field of arts and entertainment are:
Siôn Eirian (Playwright),
Vernon Handley (Conductor),
Terry Hands (Theatre Director),
Eiddwen Harrhy (Opera Singer),
Richard Hickox (Conductor),
Stewart Jones (Actor),
Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards (Solicitor & Notary Public Figure),
John Macfarlane (Theatre Designer),
John Metcalf (Composer),
Angharad Rees (Actress),
Bonnie Tyler (Pop Singer)
and Paul Watkins (Cellist).

The Fellowships will be given at the College’s annual award ceremony that includes music and drama students who graduate this year. The ceremony takes place at St David’s Hall, Cardiff at 11am on Friday 5 July 2002.

Siôn Eirian is a dramatist who writes in Welsh and English, mainly for television and the stage. He was brought up in Brynaman and Mold, and studied Philosophy and Welsh at Aberystwyth University before completing postgraduate studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He won the Eisteddfod Bardic Crown in 1978 and has scripted and presented various television documentaries. He is based in Cardiff where he lives with his wife, the actress and theatre director Erica Eirian.

For forty years Vernon Handley's career has been unique amongst front rank conductors in that he has unashamedly championed British repertoire before that of all other countries. Recognised as Sir Adrian Boult's protegé he has held steadfastly to two principles, which might have proved detrimental to a successful career: the undemonstrative technique and the unfashionable repertoire.

Vernon Handley has probably recorded, performed and broadcast more British music than any other conductor living or dead.

Terry Hands studied at Birmingham University and trained at RADA between 1962 and 1964. In 1964 he founded the Liverpool Everyman Theatre with a group of friends and was Artistic Director there for two years. Terry Hands joined the RSC in 1966 and was Artistic Director of the RSC Theatregoround, presenting touring productions for schools and community centres from 1966-68. He became Associate Director of the RSC in 1967 and Joint Artistic Director in 1978. He became Chief Executive of the RSC in 1986. He has been Director of Clwyd Theatr Cymru since 1997.

Eiddwen Harrhy studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music (now known as the Royal Northern College of Music) and has appeared with all the major orchestras and opera companies in the UK and Europe. International engagements have taken her to Vienna, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Amsterdam, La Scala Milan, Los Angeles where roles have included Poppea, Countess, Mimi, Michaela, Octavian, Composer, Marie (Wozzuck), Fiordiligi, Pamina (to name but a few!). Her appearances in Handel operas number 22 different characters - Cleopatra, Angelica, Alcina, Rodelinda, Armida etc. Until recently, Eiddwen has been a welcome member of the RWCMD Vocal Studies department.

Richard Hickox has been Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales since September 2000. He has long been regarded internationally as one of Britain’s most respected and versatile conductors. His position at the centre of British musical life has been recognised by many accolades including two Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards and he has also been elected an Honorary Fellow of Queens’ College Cambridge. Richard Hickox is committed to an extraordinarily wide range of music, which he conducts with a rare assurance.

Stewart Jones was born in Edinburgh to Scottish parents, but was raised in a Welsh home near Mynydd y Cenin and Rhoslan in Eifionydd. When he was 10 years old, he started an apprenticeship as a carpenter and this was his occupation until he decided to become a full-time actor. He became famous for his portrayal of S4C’s television character ‘Ifans-y-Tryc’, and has worked regularly in theatre, taking part in most of the plays of Saunders Lewis.

Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards hails from Aberfan, Merthyr Tydfil, and was educated at Monmouth School for Boys, Quakers Yard Grammar School and University of Bristol. A Solicitor and Notary Public Figure, Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards is now retired. He was a Senior Partner and Consultant with Cartwrights, Adams & Black in Cardiff and spent his National Service in the Royal Navy between 1958-1960. He served on Cardiff City Council between 1963 and 1987, and Lord Mayor in 1985/86. In 1990 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Glamorgan. He became Vice President of the College in May 1995.

John Macfarlane was born in Scotland and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He received an Arts Council of Great Britain Trainee Designer Award and spent some time as Resident Designer at the Young Vic Theatre in London. More recently John Macfarlane has concentrated exclusively on opera, having designed Euranthe for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In addition to his opera and dance work, John Macfarlane exhibits regularly as a painter and printmaker in the UK and Europe.

John Metcalf was born in Swansea. A joint UK/Canadian citizen, he is one of the foremost composers working in Wales in today. Starting in the late 1960s his successful composing career has already embraced a large variety of work. Major works have marked his development including five operas, two to commission from Welsh National Opera. His most recent opera, Kafka's Chimp, was premiered to great acclaim in August 1996 in Canada, received its European premiere in Sweden in 1999 and is scheduled for its German premiere in a new production in 2002.

Angharad Rees has appeared extensively on television, radio and film. She regularly appears with John Mortimer in Mortimer’s Miscellany, an anthology of poetry and prose, at theatres around Britain. She is known internationally for playing Demelza in Poldark for the BBC. She was nominated for Best Newcomer to Film for the role in Moments. Angharad is also a jewellery designer and runs a successful business from her shop in London.

Bonnie Tyler was born Gaynor Hopkins in Skewen, near Swansea. Bonnie's early recollections of music came from her mum, a keen opera fan, but remembers her early pop influences came from the soul roots of Tamla Motown and female singers such as Janis Joplin. Bonnie Tyler's recording career has spanned an incredible 25 years releasing, to date, 12 albums and over 60 singles across the world. She remains one of the most popular female singers that the UK has ever produced, and with many new projects still on the go for live performance requests.

Paul Watkins is one of Britain's foremost cellists. He studied cello with William Pleeth, Melissa Phelps and Johannes Goritzki and first came to public attention as winner of the string section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1988. At the age of 20, Paul was appointed principal cellist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a position that he held for seven years. He has made many television programmes and radio broadcasts for the BBC and in July 1999 was featured in a major documentary series for BBC 2, performing the Elgar Cello Concerto. Alongside his concerto appearances, Paul is a dedicated chamber musician and has been a member of the Nash Ensemble since 1997.
Welsh College of Music and Drama  
web site
Cathryn Thomas
Thursday, July 04, 2002back



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