Ragtime Premieres at Inaugural Cardiff FestivalDate: 27 March 2002
Cardiff will be hosting the first ever International Festival of Musical Theatre, in a three-week event running from 14 October to 3 November 2002.
The festival will feature a variety of musical theatre performances open to the public, playing at some the Welsh capital's major venues. Part of the festival's aim is to showcase new musicals, as part of the "Global Search" programme. From nearly 200 submissions from 16 countries, nine pieces will be selected, and performed from 1 to 3 November.
The festival also seeks to find the Voice of Musical Theatre 2002, won last year by West End performer Laura Michelle Kelly (Whistle Down The Wind, Peter Pan). The final of the event will have a future broadcast on BBC Radio 2.
Prominent amongst the performance programme is the European premiere of the award winning musical Ragtime in concert, which will play for one night only on 26 October at St David's Hall. The Royal Festival Hall concert version of Carousel will also be visiting Cardiff on 25 October, as a celebration of Richard Rodgers' centennial year. The festival will conclude on Saturday 3 November with a gala performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem at Llandaff Cathedral, in support of The Prince's Trust Cymru.
Also promised is the premiere of a special school edition of Les Miserables, soon to become available for wider performance, along with workshops and master classes specifically concerning the musical art form.
Festival organisers Vincent Kane and Joanne Benjamin have stressed that the event will include pieces outside the musical theatre field, with a broader focus placed on the use of music in the arts. An exciting and diverse range of work from opera through to jazz is promised, with further details of the full programme still to be announced.
Those interested in booking for any of the events should call the Festival Hotline on 0870 904 2003 or visit the website, www.CardiffMusicals.com.
- by Tim Connor