Concert Celebrating Dylan Thomas’ Centenary



Pianist Ingrid Sturgenor and bass baritone Arwel Huw Morgan are to perform a concert to celebrate Dylan Thomas’ centenary year.

The concert – entitled ‘Dylan Works With Welsh Song’ – will take place in a private manor house in Abergavenny on Saturday 15th November at 7pm. Arwel Huw Morgan – who devised the idea – will be matching extracts of Dylan’s work with appropriate traditional Welsh songs, and Ingrid will be accompanying him on the piano.

Arwel commented: “I felt that, because the human condition was universal to all cultures and languages, so also would be the subject matter of poetry. It must be possible, I thought, to find an English poem that would mirror the theme of a Welsh-language song so well that I wouldn’t need to translate it. I’d read the poem before performing the song and in so doing, I could enhance the audience’s enjoyment of both song and poem.”

“I admired Dylan Thomas’ poetry very much and wondered if I might use his poems exclusively for this.”

“As an exercise I set about pairing the songs I wanted to sing with with appropriate poems.
Since I was working with Richard Baker at the time I approached him with this embryonic idea and asked for his thoughts. As an ex BBC presenter he had a wealth of experience and knowledge about all kinds of presentation on TV, Radio and live audiences. It was he who came up with the idea of combining Dylan Thomas’ poetry with Welsh song and so making the presentation a performance with a totally Welsh flavour.”

The performance will include well-known poems such as  ‘And Death shall have no Dominion’, ‘Do Not go Gentle into that Good Night’, ‘Fern Hill’, ‘Poem in October’;  prose from some of Dylan’s BBC broadcasts and extracts from ‘Under Milk Wood’.

The songs will include, ‘Ora Pro Nobis’ by Meirion Williams; ‘Llanfihangel Bachellaeth’ by W. Matthews Williams; ‘Pwy fydd yma mewn Can Mlynedd’; ‘Mab y Mor’ by Bradwen Jones. The whole is held together by the narrative – Dylan’s life history.

The concert has been organised to raise funds for Music in Hospitals Wales, a charity that organises live music concerts for sick, elderly and disabled individuals. Rose Widlake, Events Assistant for the charity said: “This is a great opportunity for those who love Dylan to see his work presented in a new format. There will be wine and nibbles, and a chance to discuss the work with Ingrid and Arwel after the performance. It is the first and only chance to see the show in such an intimate venue – and a great way for fans of Dylan to celebrate his centenary year while supporting a local charity.”

Tickets cost £35, which includes entry to the performance and light refreshments. All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to Music in Hospitals. Due to the intimate venue and nature of the event, tickets are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tickets are available from Robert Aitken at [email protected], or by sending a cheque made out to ‘Music in Hospitals’ to:  Music in Hospitals, RWCMD, Castle Grounds, Cardiff CF10 3ER.