Pavarotti inspires new generation at Llangollen International Eisteddfod

The success of opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti is inspiring a new generation of choirs at an international music festival that was his springboard to global fame.

Nearly six years after he died, 34 choirs from 15 countries will sing their hearts out for the coveted Choir of the World competition which commemorates the great Italian tenor at Llangollen this summer.

The Pavarotti Trophy was first awarded in 2005, 50 years after the Italian maestro’s first appearance at Llangolen and this year the titanic struggle for the coveted prize will climax at the International Musical Eisteddfod on the evening of Saturday, July 13, when the top choirs sing-off.

And the standing of the festival has been endorsed by the Pavarotti Foundation, set up in honour of the incomparable Pavarotti, who died aged 71 in 2007.

Luciano Pavarotti first sang outside his native Italy when he competed at Llangollen in 1955 aged 19 as part of the Chorus Rossini, from Modena, alongside his father, Fernando.

A spokesperson for the Pavarotti Foundation, based in his hometown of Modena, said: “Winning at Llangollen was the most important musical experience of Pavarotti’s life and inspired him to become a professional singer.”

The spokesperson added that the Maestro always referred back to it as the most important experience in his life and what inspired him to turn professional.

Pavarotti said if he could win the first prize with a small choir from Modena then he could do anything.

Eisteddfod Musical Director Eilir Owen Griffiths said: “To have the Pavarotti name on the trophy puts it right up there as one of the top choral competitions in the world and where better to hold it than in Wales in the place where it all began for Pavarotti himself.

“I’m delighted with the entries. To have 34 choirs across five categories and from five different continents makes me very happy.

“My big thing as Musical Director is that we have a proper international spread and just to look at the mixed choir competition in particular, we have eight choirs from seven different countries.

“It’s a similar story right across the Eisteddfod this year, not just in the Choir of the World but in the other competitions as well.”

The prestigious choir competition won’t be the only big prize up for grabs on Saturday night as for the first time it shares top billing with a new dance event.

The winners of the two major dance competitions, choreographed and traditional, will go head to head in front of the packed Royal International Pavilion for the Dance Champions International Trophy and £1,000.

Eilir Griffiths said: “The Choir of the World competition is internationally recognised and we want to elevate dance to the same level by giving it a place on the stage on the big night.

“Dance plays a really important part in the Eisteddfod and brings huge colour, spectacle and atmosphere to the event with dancers from all over the world in their different costumes.

“We want it to really light up the weekend and have a real impact not just on the Saturday night but throughout the week and especially the weekend.”

As well as the new dance event there will also be a new Children’s Choir of the World competition; with the winning choirs from the Junior Children’s, Senior Children’s and Children’s Folk Choir competitions competing against each other.

There will also be a Conductors Prize for the most inspiring conductor from these competitions as well as a Music Directors Award given by the festival’s Music Director himself, Eilir Owen Griffiths.

Another first, aimed at solo performers, will be the Voice of the Future competition, open to under-35s and with a whopping £2,000 prize.

A stunning lineup of top acts for the week’s concerts will be announced shortly and Eilir Griffiths added: “I think I can guarantee a very impressive lineup from across the music and dance spectrums.”

This year’s event is from Tuesday, July 9, to Sunday, July 14, more details, including how to enter, are on the website at and on Facebook at

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