Acclaimed bass-baritone Bryn Terfel has embarked on a versatile musical journey at the iconic Sydney Opera House:
Joined at this marvellous Unesco World heritage site by his wife, harpist Hannah Stone the charismatic Welshman performs great classics – from Wagner’s sombre characters to the broadway musical “South Pacific” and back to his Welsh roots.
“I start the whole evening with Wagner. I’m singing the last scene of the Valkyrie, which is where Wotan is saying farewell to his beloved daughter for the very last time,” says Terfel.
“So I have different feelings singing it. I have, of course, three boys, but now I have a young daughter as well, which gives a different meaning to singing Wotan.“
Hannah Stone, a former official harpist of Britain’s Prince of Wales, gives a moving performance of Debussy’s “Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane.”
“It’s a very special piece in the history of the harp. Ethereal is the word that comes to mind. It’s otherworldly,” says Stone.
“It’s magical. I feel that it does just transport you somewhere.”
Terfel continues the journey with the famous Whistle aria from the opera “Mefistofele”.
“My father had three beautiful border collies that he could whistle to any part of the mountains and I thought I was a good whistler as well,” says Terfel.
“I’m incredibly inspired by Hannah. It’s regimental how much she practises.”
“Obviously he is a natural performer, replies Stone. “And everyone says, you know how he just owns the stage. But I think there’s more to it than that.”
“It’s just the sort of just being centred. And when I’m playing with him, I think that does rub off on me.”
Both artists feel strongly about their Welsh heritage, proudly performing a traditional folk tune, called “Ar lan y môr”.
It’s about love…says Hannah. Being by the sea.
“Being by the sea, all the elements of the sea encaptured in their connection as a couple and their romance,” says Terfel.
“I want to investigate some more with Hannah as well: the Welsh music where we home in on some folk tunes that the harp and the voice can play together.”