Llangollen Eisteddfod reminds opera star Noah Stewart early chorister days

AMERICAN opera star Noah Stewart said making a triumphant return visit to Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to watch the day’s young performers in action reminded him of his own early days as a chorister.

Noah, who gave a performance from the Eisteddfod stage at an evening concert which won him a standing ovation, was back the following morning to receive the rare honour of being chosen as the festival’s Day President.

Noah Stewart 4 ceidiog

Speaking about what this meant to him, he said: “I performed at Llangollen for the first time last year and to come back this year, especially as Day President, has been truly special for me.

American singer Noah Stewart outside the Pavillion at Llangollen Eisteddfod

“It’s been 12 months since then but it’s actually like I’ve never been away. It still has all the same energy and excitement I saw first last year.

“Coming to Llangollen reminds me of my own early days as a chorister.

“It was at the time I was studying to be an engineer back home in New York City and I joined a junior choir.

“In my second year we started to do competitions and the choir director told me he had seen something special in me, and that’s where my solo singing began.

“It wasn’t until then that I realised that you could combine music and travelling and make it a career.”

Noah added: “I fell in love with music because it gave me a connection that I didn’t get through science and engineering.

“While I enjoy other styles of music, my first love is classical music and it was through classical music I got my first big break.

“I was with the San Francisco Opera when I was asked to fill in for the tenor in the role of McDuff in Verdi’s Macbeth. From there I went on to start my career as a solo artist in 2008.”

Noah said he was a great honour to be the Eisteddfod’s Day President.

noah ceidiog

He explained: “When I heard I was being asked to do it I went crazy because I just love the excitement, colour and atmosphere of peacefulness of the festival.

“I also look forward to coming back to Wales because the people are so warm and open and have such a great appreciation of culture, which is what the Eisteddfod is all about.”

Noah went up on stage to be introduced to the audience in the pavilion and gave a powerful performance of the rousing American standard Without a Song.

He was presented with flowers by seven-year-old Annie Roberts from Trevor, a pupil of Ysgol Garth, who said: “I enjoyed walking on the stage, his singing is really good.

“I love singing and I really like One Direction.”

Noah was trained at the Juilliard School in New York and at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

His debut album became a major success in the UK, topping the classical charts for seven weeks.

In 2010 he made a critically-lauded debut at Covent Garden as Hassan in Judith Wier’s Miss Fortune, a role he premiered at the Bregenzer Festpiele in 2011.

He has gained many awards and honours including first prize in the Florida Grand Opera competition and he is in constant demand to take part in operas sand concerts in the UK and around the world.

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