23rd July, 2013
Song may be woven into the very fabric of the Welsh Valleys but the Voice of the Future officially belongs to Pontypridd. Soprano Menna Cazel Davies, 24, landed the title at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod collecting the International Trophy, £2,000 in prize money and an invitation to perform at one of Llangollen 2014’s evening concerts.
It was the first time the Voice of the Future competition has been held at the International Eisteddfod and was open to any singer under the age of 35 with the prize money intended to help advance the career of a young soloist. Menna, who is currently studying for her Masters degree in music in Leipzig, Germany, says she was absolutely delighted to have won the inaugural competition and says the prize money will be a massive boost toward the cost of her studies.
She said: “It was a tough competition and Mari Wyn Williams of Llanberis was a close second. It was made difficult because of the heatwave which meant it was incredibly hot on stage. I just tried to perform to my best and was thrilled with the comments from the adjudicators. I honestly wasn’t sure if I had performed as well as I could so to hear my name announced as the winner was just magical. I’m delighted to have won so I can take the trophy back to Pontypridd. My parents were in the audience as were two of my aunts. I’m happy for them to as they have supported me all the way."
“The prize money is a massive boost and will help finance my studies as I finish my masters degree in Germany. And of course the chance to perform on the Llangollen stage at next year’s International Music Eisteddfod in an evening concert is something I can really look forward to. I am just over the moon to be perfectly honest.”
Not that Menna is a stranger to winning titles with her pitch perfect soprano voice. Among her many awards and competition successes, in 2007, the former pupil of Ysgol Gynradd Garth Olwg, was crowned Young Musician of the Year at the Music in the Vale competition in Barry and she won the National Eisteddod 2008 Operatic Solo title as well as being awarded the W Towyn Roberts Scholarship at the 2012 National Eisteddfod.
And she is no stranger to the Llangollen stage having scooped the Under 20 title at the 2009 International Music Eisteddfod.
We are grateful to Ceidiog Communication for their permission to use this article and supporting photograph.