Steffan Rhodri takes to the stage this week with a special reading of The Night Before Christmas, accompanied by BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Rhodri joins award-winning jazz singer and Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal, who’ll perform a selection of festive favourites in a swing style.
Narrated by Steffan Rhodri (known for Harry Potter and Gavin and Stacey), conductor Gavin Sutherland will lead a special orchestral arrangement of The Night Before Christmas by British composer Philip Lane, at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea on Thursday 14 December and at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on Friday 15 December. One of Wales’s foremost stage and screen actors, Rhodri’s recent work has included the BBC mini-series Apple Tree Yard, and the critically acclaimed stage production of Woyzek at the Old Vic, London opposite John Boyega.
Clare Teal is one of the UK’s most celebrated and much-loved singers. Following in the footsteps of some the jazz greats, Clare performs a swinging set to get you in the Christmas spirit. Featuring favourite festive tunes, big band style, Clare will be drawing a little inspiration from the Queen of Jazz herself.
“Ella Fitzgerald is my favourite Jazz singer; she was a singer that was equally at home in any ensemble, small groups, big bands and orchestras, and in fact 2017 marks the centenary of her birth. She recorded various seasonal albums, but my favourite has to be Ella Fitzgerald’s Christmas, recorded with orchestral groups and chorus – it’s a standout.”
Performing across the country in venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall, as well as some of the biggest festivals such as Glastonbury, Clare has sung alongside some of the top orchestras and big bands.
“I’m always hugely impressed by the dynamic range of an orchestra, quiet as a mouse one second, thundering down your earhole in a most exhilarating fashion the next. It’s marvellous.” says Clare. “I’ve heard such great things about BBC NOW; I can’t wait to meet them. Having a Welsh choir (BBC National Chorus of Wales) on board too is the icing on the cake!”
- Join Steffan Rhodri, Clare Teal and BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales for Christmas Celebrations on Thursday at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea and Friday at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. For further information and tickets visit bbc.co.uk/bbcnow or call the BBC NOW Audience Line on 0800 052 1812. Tickets: £15-40.
- Highlights of Christmas Celebration can be heard on BBC Radio Wales on Christmas Eve at 1pm and Christmas Day at 5pm.