Wales: International Eisteddfod to get off on right note

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Jul 9 15:03:51 UTC 2008

International Eisteddfod to get off on right note
Jul 8 2008 by Kelly Fenna, Daily Post

QUEEN of musical theatre Elaine Paige will open the prestigious
Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod today, giving North Wales
a sneak peek of her dazzling anniversary show.

She will perform songs from shows she has starred in over a lifetime
on stage and mark the 40th anniversary of her West End debut in box
office sensation Hair.

The four girls in All Angels will also hit the stage in Llangollen and
say they are excited about performing at the world-famous event.

They join rising opera star Alfie Boe who will sing at the final night
gala alongside Elin Manahan Thomas and David Kempster.

Also appearing is Onke Ose, as well as choirs from around the world
competing for the Pavarotti Trophy. Former Beirut Terry Waite will
also be in attendance, being one of the event's ambassadors.

Running until July 13, the Llangollen International Eisteddfod also
aims to improve its use of the Welsh language.

Working with the Welsh Language Board, staff and volunteers have been
busy brushing up on their Welsh greetings, in preparation for the
cultural festival.

Mervyn Cousins, the eisteddfod's new executive director has himself
been busy with his Welsh learners' tapes.

"Although some of the team are fluent Welsh speakers, we have offered
training to our frontline staff and volunteers on how to greet
customers and offer a Welsh language service to those customers who
would prefer to conduct business with us through the medium of Welsh,"
he said.

"We have standardised the use of the Welsh language in our day to day
running, and put together a formal policy in liaison with the Welsh
Language Board."

As part of that policy, work has been underway during the last few
months to standardise signage on the Eisteddfod field.

The team has also been busy upgrading the current English website to a
bilingual website, offering Welsh speakers the opportunity to glean
information in Welsh, via the internet.

Ifan Evans, director of private sector and business at the Welsh
Language Board said: "Llangollen International Eisteddfod is
celebrated worldwide for its multiculturalism and language diversity.

"Over the past few months we have worked with Eisteddfod organisers on
their new Welsh language policy, and are pleased that the Eisteddfod
will be much more bilingual this year.

"This will enable the Eisteddfod to offer competitors and visitors an
even more distinctive, memorable, and uniquely Welsh experience."

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, July 8-13. Tickets on
01978 862001 or online at www. international-

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