|Wales, the land of song - what a cliché.
Clichés often have more than a grain of truth in them, though, and
Schools Prom Wales, at St David's Hall, Cardiff on March 2, proved this
one to be gloriously accurate.
The centrepiece of the evening was a shortened version of The Raven
King by the Caerphilly Kids Opera Group. It was originally sung by 400
children aged between seven and 11, but more than 200 of them sardined on
to the stage to give the delighted audience a very good idea of its
effect. Welsh composer Mervyn Burtch and Canadian composer Mark Morris
have invented a piece loosely based on The Tempest. An island populated by
animals is changed by the arrival of humans but the ending is one of
The soaring voice of professional singer Robert Bourton as the Raven
King, aided by young actor James Cash as the Wizard-narrator, added a
sharpness to the sweetness of the children's voices.