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Times Educational Supplelement : Heather Neill 11/17/00  

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 hopeful reconciliation.

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.


Times Educational Supplelement : Nigel Williamson 11/17/00  

Friday Magazine
The Caerphilly Kids Opera Group - all 600 of them aged between seven and 12 - presented an abridged version of the opera The Raven King (a work they premiered last year) that left you wanting to see the full production.

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