DUETS # 41

Today the wonderful duet Dame Shirley Bassey did with Bryn Terfel at the 2006 Faenol Festival.

Opera star Bryn Terfel set up the Faenol Festival in his native North Wales in 2000, to showcase some of the best of classical, opera and pop music.

The festival, held on the Faenol Estate in Gwynedd across the August bank holiday weekend until 2008, ran into financial difficulties and both the 2009 and 2010 festivals were cancelled at short notice. There is no festival planned for 2011, but Bryn Terfel has not ruled out the possibility of its return.

Since the first festival in 2000, major guest stars from the worlds of classical and popular music included Boyzone, José Carreras, Renée Fleming, Andrea Bocelli, Lesley Garrett, Angela Gheorghiu, Michael Ball, Jamie Cullum, Elaine Paige and Dame Shirley Bassey.

(From Wales Online) As the heavens opened during August Bank Holiday 2006, about 10,000 people were huddled under brollies in a field in North Wales – and they didn’t care a jot about the torrential downpour.

For they were mesmerised by the glamorous diva who was belting out some classic songs on the stage at Faenol Festival.

Wearing a yellow feather-trimmed Julien Macdonald gown, Dame Shirley Bassey dazzled her way through her set for more than an hour. And even as the rain lashed at her, her smile didn’t slip.

“Now I know I’m home in Wales with this bloody rain,” she laughed.

For bass baritone Bryn Terfel – the man behind the festival – it was a dream booking. He was determined to snap up the superstar from the moment he launched his event six years earlier. And after she walked off stage, he declared it one of his “best festivals yet”. Despite the rain.

It had been a rare performance by Dame Shirley in her homeland and that is just one of the reasons why the girl from Tiger Bay is still in demand. She isn’t one of those stars who will appear at the opening of an envelope. She chooses her work projects carefully and she’s never sold out. We haven’t seen her yet losing the plot as she’s locked inside the Celebrity Big Brother house; waltzing with a 20-year-old on Strictly Come Dancing or eating kangaroo’s testicles on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – and I doubt we will any time soon.

Stifyn Parri, managing director of Cardiff-based creative events company and celebrity agency Mr Producer, says: “She has an amazing integrity. She’s from an era gone by, when reality programmes and selling out didn’t exist in the same way.

“And we wouldn’t want to see her on a reality show – the reality of her wouldn’t match the image in our heads. She turns a song into a three-act play but seeing her in a reality show would totally smash that image. There are some people that we want to see only as stars rather than in real life.”