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Monday, September 9, 2013

Eisteddfod wins chorus of approval


* This year's colourful Eisteddfod parade. 
 
There has been a chorus of approval for the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod for its contribution to putting Wales on the global map.
 
The first to sing the praises of the renowned festival was Huw Hampson-Jones, the Chair of the Wales in London organisation, who read about the Eisteddfod in the influential South China Morning Post while on a trip to Hong Kong.
 
According to Mr Hampson-Jones, the festival that put opera legend Luciano Pavarotti on the road to superstardom is a gem in terms of marketing Wales on the world stage.
The point was driven home while he was reading the South China Morning Post.
Mr Hampson-Jones recalled: "My eye catches the headline on page three, 'Singer 11, follows in the footsteps of greats', and a large article reporting the fact that Ella Ng has won the solo prize at the International Eisteddfod in Wales.
"The article points out that Placido Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jose Carreras and Elaine Page have all performed at the Eisteddfod.
"The point to note, of course, is that the paper’s worldwide readership will be made aware of this wonderful international cultural event held in Llangollen, Wales.
"Welsh culture is sophisticated – the Eisteddfod in Llangollen is living proof of that."
It was a sentiment echoed by Welsh Secretary David Jones MP who is a big fan of the colourful cultural event founded in the aftermath of the Second World War as a means of promoting world harmony through music and dance.
Mr Jones said: "Llangollen International Eisteddfod has taken a great Welsh tradition and turned it into a truly international event. I have visited the event for many years, and this year, I was honoured to be invited to be their Vice President.
 
"I always look forward to seeing just how far Wales’ culture and history can reach across the world, and how deeply it can become embedded in other nations. 
 
"It is so important that we share and celebrate our similarities, as well as our differences, at every opportunity. I congratulate the Llangollen International Eisteddfod on its successes over the last 67 years, and I wish it many more years of success."
 
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates is also enchanted by the festival.
 
He said: "I love the International Eisteddfod, it's one of my favourite events of the year and one of the many fantastic jewels in Llangollen's crown, and this summer's event was one of the best yet.
 
"The atmosphere was brilliant and the warmth of the welcome extended was - as always - amazing.
 
"The event gives Llangollen another opportunity to showcase itself and provides a massive boost to the local economy, but it also helps to promote Wales on an international stage, which is hugely important as we strive to further strengthen our burgeoning tourism industry."
 
Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones was proud that she had been asked to be a Day President at the 2013 event.
 
She said: "I was struck yet again by how Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod really does bring people and cultures together.
 
"For many of the groups and visitors present, it is their very first experience of Wales and they go on to have many more.
 
"We shouldn't forget that had a young Pavarotti not come to Llangollen, he would probably never have been to Wales in his life. 
 
"As someone who lived overseas in my twenties, I know first hand that when people have experienced a country for themselves that offers huge potential for the business growth that we need." 
 
The acclaim for the contribution of the Eisteddfod was music to the ears of the festival's Chairman, Gethin Davies.
 
He said: "Llangollen has long been known as the town where Wales welcomes the world but it is gratifying to hear recognition from such senior figures of our role in reaching out across the globe and playing a positive part in the drive to market our wonderful nation."

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