FREE Sunday Concert...TICKETS AVAILABLE ON FRI 23 APRIL!
Internationally-acclaimed artists Jonathan Ansell, Faryl Smith and Hayley Westenra have been confirmed as the headline acts for this year’s FREE Ponty’s Big Weekend family Sunday event.
Ponty’s Big Weekend 2010 extends a very warm welcome to classical artist Hayley Westenra, who will perform at this year’s Sunday concert. This will not be Hayley’s first time wowing audiences in RCT, she headlined the County’s Big Anthem celebrations in 2006 to commemorate 150 years of the Welsh National Anthem, and this year’s performance is likely to be just as, if not more impressive.
Having begun performing when she was just 6 years old, Hayley made her first recording in a professional studio at 12. She was still only 16 when she released her debut international CD, Pure. It rapidly became the fastest-selling debut album from a classical artist, and reached the Top 10 of the pop charts in 11 countries. Her albums have sold more than four million copies worldwide to date. "Pure" was certified by the official UK chart compilers as the best selling classical album of the 21st Century.
She has performed for royalty and Heads of State, as well as at numerous sporting events around the World, which have included football (the FA Cup Final, in The European Champions League) baseball (the NBA in the US), Tennis (The Mercedes Cup in Los Angeles) and what is her proudest duty, singing the New Zealand anthem for her beloved All Blacks rugby team.
Hayley is in great demand as a duet partner and has sung with, among others, Jose Carreras, Bryn Terfel and Andrea Bocelli and toured with Il Divo. She has also appeared as a special guest with the World's leading orchestras including the Moscow Philharmonic, The Boston Pops and the RPO.
Hayley has performed at and was nominated for Best Album at the Classical Brit Awards 2008. November 2008 saw Elaine Paige present Hayley with the Varity Club Showbiz Awards 2008 Classical Performer of the Year.
One minute Faryl Smith was an ordinary schoolgirl from Northamptonshire who sang in her local choir, the next her life changed dramatically when she sang her way into people's hearts and minds all over Britain during the final round of ITV's "Britain's Got Talent." It was on this show that Simon Cowell praised her in front of a national television audience, calling her "literally one in a million" and "the most talented youngster I've ever heard."
Other celebrities have also commented on Faryl’s ability, with Welsh wonder Katherine Jenkins describing her voice as “breaktaking” and “simply stunning.” But besides the emotional power of her voice, what has impressed judges and audiences alike is her amazing composure and maturity onstage – something the crowds of Pontypridd will bear witness to on Sunday 25th July.
Despite her youth, Faryl already has some impressive achievements under her belt – most notably is that she is about to sign the largest record deal ever awarded to a schoolgirl. When she was 10, she won three awards at the Eisteddfodd (a world-renowned festival of music, song and dance) in her hometown of Kettering, Northants. She later took first prize in the 10-15 age group at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfodd. In November 2007, she reached the final round of the Festival 4 Stars in Glasgow.
Jonathan Ansell, the charismatic young singer with the sensational tenor voice who shot to fame with pop opera group G4 on the X Factor, will this year be gracing the stage at Ponty’s Big Weekend 2010.
Jonathan who achieved amazing success with the classically-trained group G4 before their split in 2007 has achieved great success with his debut solo album that topped the classical charts and also hit the top ten of the pop charts.
Hailed as the "Justin Timberlake of opera" Jonathan achieved unprecedented success with G4, with their final concert at Royal Albert Hall being a sell-out. Now, with his two solo albums behind him, a performance in a touring version of the Mikado and last year’s performance in the USA with Marvin Hamlisch and his orchestra for 10 sellout concerts, Jonathan is looking to impress the crowds of Ponty with his charismatic personality and powerful voice that is likely to bring the house down.
Born and bred in Pontypridd, James will once again be coming home to perform at Ponty’s Big Weekend 2010, having displayed his vocal talents in 2009.
Having appeared on our TV screens by reaching the final 24 on X Factor 2008, where he performed in front of his mentor Dannii Minogue and the millions of viewers watching on, James will look to thoroughly entertain the Pontypridd crowd.
The talented and versatile artist was born to perform so get ready to hear ‘Musical Theatre,’ ‘Big Ballads’ and ‘Anthems’ as James’ powerful voice delivers each number in his own distinctive style.
By the time James has finished he will have left the audience feeling uplifted and undoubtedly wanting to hear more.
Welsh singer/songwriter Daz Edwards (former lead singer with ‘Big Wide World’) is another established performer that returns to Ponty’s Big Weekend to entertain the crowds with his distinctive voice and mix of favourite tunes that are sure to be enjoyed by all.