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Wales Millennium Centre \ Only Kids Aloud Chorus

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Only Kids Aloud

When Maestro Valery Gergiev confirmed the programme he wished to present at the Centre  in Spring 2012  it initially posed something of a challenge for the Centre’s team. Mahler’s Symphony No 8 is frequently called the Symphony of a Thousand, because it requires huge instrumental and vocal forces – two adult mixed choirs, (SATB) as well as a children’s chorus. The Centre therefore had to supplement the Mariinsky’s renowned touring chorus by amassing a Welsh choir that could realise the true potential of the live performance.

Having developed strong partnerships with Welsh musicians and artists since opening, the Centre’s artistic team were able to call upon the assistance of a number of inspiring individuals and organisations, including the BBC National Chorus of Wales and Only Men and Only Boys Aloud’s musical director, Tim Rhys-Evans. Tim shares the Centre’s objective of creating accessible performing arts opportunities for children, especially from some of our most deprived communities.  It was therefore most fitting that Tim be commissioned to form a special chorus made up of children from across Wales to perform in Mahler’s Symphony No 8 with the Mariinsky Opera here at the Centre. From one planned performance at the Centre the opportunity arose to perform in St Petersburg in Russia, and to top it all in the memorable opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

The impact of being part of this choir has been life changing for those young people, which is why we have committed to create a new choir for 2013/14, after extensive auditions, and to be equally ambitious.   No doubt this will be just as impactful a year for the 70 young choristers:  sharing the platform with bass baritone Bryn Terfel and Cape Town Opera in a cultural celebration of 20 years of democracy and the end of apartheid rule in South Africa and performing in the International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen.