FROM one of the world’s most venerated orchestras comes a major coup for Conwy’s annual classical musical festival.

Conwy Classical Music Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary of free concerts at St Mary’s Church by welcoming international opera star Carla Maffioletti to its sparkling line up this July.

Maffioletti, who for twelve years up until 2014 was the principal soprano soloist with André Rieu’s renowned orchestra will perform with fellow classical singer, Jutta Maria Böhner will perform as 'Almeh Luz' on Sunday, July 19. Their repertoire ranges from Brazilian Classical Melodies to Purcell and Poulenc, all to the intimate accompaniment of the guitar.

Chris Roberts, festival director, said: “I couldn’t believe it when Carla Maffioletti contacted me to ask if she and her friend could take part in the festival.

“She’d been in Conwy last Summer and had picked up the festival leaflet, which prompted her to make contact with me. I’m absolutely delighted that she is coming here to take part this year. It should be an evening to remember!"

North Wales Pioneer:

Elgan Llŷr Thomas

Another feather in the festival’s cap will be the return of former Ysgol Creuddyn pupil Elgan Llŷr Thomas, who will perform with the Festival Orchestra on the evening of Monday, July 20 and with the Fitzsimmon Ensemble on Wednesday, July 22. Elgan is is fast making a name for himself as one of the country’s leading tenors, performing with the Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra in their performance of Messiah in the Albert Hall last December.

Instrumental music will be well represented throughout the week with concerts of chamber music by The Manchester Ensemble, Christina Mason-Scheuermann and Friends, and by The North Wales Camerata. Solo performances will also be heard by cellists Nicki Pearce and Tim Lowe, and flautist Gudula Hufschmidt.

North Wales Pioneer:

The Marian Consort are set to return to the festival. Picture: Facebook/ The Marian Consort

Singers will include Eisteddfod winning soloists and high-flying students from the country’s most prestigious music colleges, while the ever popular A Night at the Opera will return once again on Tuesday, July 21 as well as Project 6, a sextet of male students from the Royal Northern College of Music

Early music will also return, with a concert by Radio 3's In Tune regulars The Marian Consort, and one by The Chelys Consort of Viols, who will celebrate the turn of the seasons with singers Gwendolen Martin and Guy Cutting.

Added to all this will be a number of smaller scale events, including a family concert by percussionist Dewi Ellis Jones, a lecture by director of the Gregynog Festival Dr Rhian Davies, a vocal workshop by former director of vocal studies at the Royal Northern College of Music Brian Hughes and an attempt to perform Tallis’ 40 part motet Spem in Alium as the culmination of a workshop involving local choristers, as a celebration of 40 years of concerts at the church.

While each of the concerts is free to attend, donations towards the festival are welcome. For information on the week’s programme, visit or contact Chris Roberts on 07706972656.