Brigg Correspondent Peter Thompson tells of a chance meeting at the World famous LLangollen Eisteddfod with an emerging local vocalist.
Every summer people come from all over the world to make music by the banks of the River Dee in the small Welsh town of Llangollen. Not to be confused with the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Llangollen International Eisteddfod is a quite different event.
And every summer I journey back for a reunion with my college choir friends from Chester, remembering that one year four decades ago we sang in the same concert there as a young Placido Domingo.
This year, I had a chance meeting with a local emerging talent. And I can say with confidence ‘didn’t she do well!’
What a wonderful surprise - and a very pleasant one it was, to see Clare Wheat walk on stage at the Eisteddfod, a young and emerging Soprano who once cut her teeth at Brigg Music Festival and with Brigg Operatic Society.
She sang in the final of ‘The Voice of the Future’ class at the Eisteddfod - and came fourth.
And Clare was just thrilled to be there.
“It is very difficult to get in at Llangollen. You have first got to send in a CD. I got through that and into the preliminary round where I sang in Llangollen Town Hall. They chose the finalists from those of us who sang there.”
The final took place on the main stage in the arena, which holds 6,000 people, a stage where Bryn Terfel had sung just two days before in one of the gala concerts that take place in the evenings after the competitions.
“I didn’t win ‘The Voice of the Future’ class, a Welsh singer won, but I got a good adjudication,” added Clare.
“It was fabulous, I will never forget being on that wonderful stage where my husband Jonathan Gooing accompanied me on the piano.”
Clare (33) first sang with Brigg Operatic Society in the sound of Music at the age of 6.
In those early days, her singing tutor was Jeff Blewett, now musical director of Market Rasen Choral Society.
Her lovely soprano voice now takes her beyond North Lincolnshire - including singing at the Buxton Opera House this month.
“I have idolised Elaine Page and went to see her at Llangollen three years ago. Little did I imagine I would be there a few years later. It was just great,” added Clare.