Soprano hits high note in Llangollen
The winner of one of the top awards at the Llangollen Eisteddfod, Erin Rossington, took the title just 24 hours after tending the sheep on the family farm.
Erin, 23, from north Wales, was crowned as the Pendine International Voice of the Future at the festival and was presented with her trophy and a cheque for £5,000 by Eisteddfod president Terry Waite.
She clinched the title just ahead of Pembrokeshire soprano Jessica Cale, 27, who received the runner-up prize of £2,000.
The international competition began with a preliminary competition, with the two finalists making it onto the main Llangollen pavilion stage for the culmination of the contest.
Erin, who was helping out on her family’s sheep farm just the day before the competition preliminaries, has competed at eisteddfods right across Wales and even abroad.
In 2013 she was part of a group from the Urdd Eisteddfod which journeyed to the Welsh settlement in Argentina’s Patagonia region to compete in its own eisteddfod.
She said she would be using the prize money to further her dream as a career as a professional opera singer.
“It was a wonderful feeling to win such a prestigious competition and I can’t believe that I’ve come this far.”
She grew up with her three sisters helping to run their parents’ sheep farm and says she was helping to tend the flock just before coming to compete in Llangollen.
Sponsor, Mario Kreft and his wife, Gill, from Pendine Park care organisation pledged to contribute £5,000 to the International Voice of the Future competition through their Pendine Arts and Community Trust which supports cultural and community initiatives, with the balance coming from the Sir Bryn Terfel Foundation and the Eisteddfod.
“I believe a star was born this evening as Erin Rossington’s performance was simply breath-taking."
Wednesday evening also include a night of Welsh music starring soprano Shân Cothi and tenor Rhodri Prys Jones accompanied by the British Sinfonietta orchestra.
The Eisteddfod premièred performances at the Saints and Singers concert, including ‘Saint Teilo’ by William Mathias CBE accompanied by a masquerade dance performed by Llangollen-based New Dance Company.
In memory of the Welsh tenor Kenneth Bowen, who died last year, Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod hosted the world première of The Spring of Vision, composed by the festival’s Music Director and friend of Bowen, Dr Edward-Rhys Harry.
Edward-Rhys Harry said: “Wednesday is the centre of the week-long festival and I wanted Welsh music to be at the heart of this year’s Eisteddfod.”