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BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

CardiffIn 2011 singers from 20 counties competed for the two main prizes before a distinguished panel of jurors and a discerning audience, many of whom had followed all the performances during the week. They experienced two finals, which were tense with excitement. In each at least three of the five contestants could have won in the night. More »


Bayreuth – First Ring

BayreuthWhen he first started in earnest looking for a site for the theatre in 1870, Wagner remembered Bayreuth, which he had first seen in 1835 when travelling between Karlsbad and Nuremberg. The councillors of Bayreuth accepted his proposal that they should buy him the land for his theatre and, after some false starts they settled on a green hill just outside the town. More »


Bayreuth, the Margravine Wilhelmine

Bayreuth townThe redoubtable Margravine Wilhelmine was the eldest daughter of Frederick William I of Prussia and favourite sister of his son Frederick the Great of Prussia. Her mother had ambitions for her to marry her Hanoverian nephew, Frederick Prince of Wales, with reasonable expectations of his becoming King of England and her becoming his Queen. More »



GlyndebourneMuch of Glyndebourne’s success must be due to retaining a winning formula of the best possible productions allied to social formality. Its early traditions have survived the years, especially the picnic on the lawn in the long interval, the preference for formal dress, and the social cachet of a summer visit. More »



Lewes, Thomas Paine

Thomas PaineThomas Paine (1737-1809) was appointed to the post of excise officer in Lewes in 1768. He had previously been an apprentice in his father’s stay-making business in Norfolk, gone to sea, been a school teacher and also had two posts of excise officer in Lincolnshire. He had been dismissed from the last one for dishonesty. More »



Granada“Give him alms, woman, for there is nothing in this life like the grief of being blind in Granada”, so says the verse of Francisco de Icaza, which the city has proudly adopted as its motto. Over-the-top and melodramatic it may sound, but to say that Granada is a delight to the eyes is no idle boast. More »