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Pontys Big Weekend - Free Tickets - Sunday 24th July

Paul Potts

Sunday 24th July - Paul Potts

GATES OPEN - 3.00pm
RCTCBC Streetcare Envirovision Winners - 3.45pm
RCTCBC Sonig Songwriter Competition Winner - 4.05pm
RCTCBC Take Part Crew - 4.25pm
The Siren Sisters - 4.45pm
RCT Only Boys Aloud Members - 5.05pm
INTERVAL - 5.25pm
Sophie Evans - 6.15pm
All Angels - 6.45pm
Natasha Marsh - 7.15pm
Paul Potts - 7.55pm
GATES CLOSE - 9.30pm

Paul Potts

Nothing much, it seems, fazes Paul Potts. Whether being described as a humble man with a great talent, performing for thousands of people on stages around the world or singing for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance, the first-ever Britain’s Got Talent winner simply takes it all in his stride. Striving to live his life the best way he can amid all the ardor of recent years, Paul has managed to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground since the crucial day he signed on for the Britain’s Got Talent auditions.

Stumbling across the details of the talent contest while taking a break from working one night, Paul realized the competition website was closing very soon and that a decision needed to be made straight away. Rather than spending his precious time agonizing about what to do, Paul left the significant decision to the flip of a ten pence coin. If it landed on heads he would go ahead and press submit, if it was tails, he would cancel the application and forget about the whole thing. The gods must have been looking over him that day because the coin landed heads up.

The biggest hurdle was yet to come however - the live audition. Seeing this opportunity as the last time he would ever perform, Paul was a mixed bag of emotions - nervous, excited and disappointed that it would probably be his last ever performance. But once he got out onstage, the nerves disappeared and he brought the house down with his version of ‘Nessun Dorma’ and continued to do so for the remainder of the competition, until he was named winner of series one. He took the crown in front of 13 million television viewers, paving the way for future hopeful performers like Susan Boyle.

Following the competition, Paul’s extraordinary appeal has seen him perform in venues such as Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall and perform in front of some very important people notably the Queen and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Paul has also performed twice for the person that introduced him to opera when he was 16: Jose Carreras. He also released his much anticipated first album One Chance, which got to number one in 15 countries followed by a worldwide tour with more than 100 sell out shows. He has continued to forge full steam ahead, releasing his second album Passione in 2009 to much excitement. Paul’s third album, Cinema Paradiso, is a movie-themed anthology inspired by his own love of films. Working alongside Hollywood movie music producer Simon Franglen, Paul has brought great passion to all the tracks featured.

Paul is eternally grateful to Britain’s Got Talent and the show’s three judges: Simon, Piers and Amanda, who first put him through to the live shows and also the British public who picked up the phone to vote for him and continued to support him by buying his albums and concert tickets. Despite his fame and popularity, Paul has been absolutely determined to remain just as he is, regardless of what happens in his life. He uses the following words from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” for his philosophy on life: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same”. It’s something he aspires to do each day.

Natasha Marsh

Statuesque, standing 5’10” in her bare feet with blonde hair cascading down her back, Natasha Marsh dispels the preconceptions we have of opera singers. At 21 she graduated with a first in music and drama, from Birmingham University, and won a coveted scholarship to the Royal College of Music.

Natasha was born in the beautiful countryside of Brecon, Wales. The oldest of 3 children, the family moved to Devon when she was one year old. When Natasha was 7 years old her interest for performing began when she watched The Sound of Music. This led to a love of performing whether in front of her family as a child or doing drama productions in schools! At 15 Natasha joined the National Youth Theatre, “It was an amazing learning curve for me. Once you pass the audition they treat you like a young professional. From learning about the costumes through to how to project yourself on stage – it was an incredible experience.”

It was when Natasha began studying at the Royal College of Music that she began to channel her abundant talent. “I knew my voice had potential,” remembers Natasha, “As soon as I started studying the art of singing and performing opera, singing in different languages and learning the process of developing a role, that was it, I was hooked!” Natasha subsequently made her critically acclaimed debut with Grange Park Opera singing Jacqueline in Fortunio by André Messager; she returned to sing the role of Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. “The Governess was a real highlight in my career. I lived and breathed the part. Even when I got in my car to go home after the performance I had to make a great effort to switch from the Governess back to Natasha Marsh.”

Natasha tours the UK and Europe extensively, performing live at events such as the Carling Cup final at Wembley Stadium, where she sang the National Anthem. With many critically acclaimed performances under her belt, and a highly respected soprano within the opera world, Natasha wanted to expand on her experiences and earlier this year stepped in to the recording studio for the first time. She recorded her debut album, ’Amour’, which hit the top of the Classical Chart, before going on to record her second album ‘Natasha Marsh’ that has put her firmly on the map as a celebrated international recording artist.

Sophie Evans

Sophie captured the hearts of the nation when she appeared on the hit show Over the Rainbow. Despite coming second on the prime time show, Lord Lloyd Webber was dazzled by the young Welsh singer’s talents and decided to cast Sophie as Dorothy at least once a week on Tuesdays, and for a week-long run of shows beginning on May 2nd.

Sophie made a triumphant debut as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in her first Tuesday performance as the alternate. The Tonypandy singer received a prolonged standing ovation from a sell-out audience as she donned the famous Ruby Slippers for the first time alongside the Wizard played by legendary performer Michael Crawford in one of the most eagerly awaited shows in the history of the West End.

Sophie, recently 18, is also currently honing her craft at the prestigious Arts Educational School in London. Reflecting on her debut as Dorothy in the West End, Sophie said: “I worked towards this day for so long, it was magical stepping on to that Palladium stage for the first time and I loved it. The production is amazing, everyone is working so hard on it, and it’s a fantastic experience to be part of.”

All Angels

All Angels have become a force to be reckoned with.

Working beautiful four part harmonies around classical, opera and pop tunes, Daisy, Melanie, Charlotte and Rachel have crafted a unique and entrancing sound. After they signed a five-album deal with Decca in 2006, their first two discs built them an awesome reputation in the Classical Crossover market and sold half a million copies. Their success earned the Angels platinum discs, appearances at the Classical Brits and accolades from Sir Paul McCartney, and all this while they were still studying for their A-levels.

Their first album, the self-titled ‘All Angels’ was released in 2006, entering the UK charts at number nine. It was the UK’s fastest selling debut for a classical act, achieved Platinum sales figures, and earned them a Classical Brit Award nomination for album of the year at the 2007 awards ceremony, in which they also performed. 2007 turned out to be a fantastic year for the girls that also saw them perform for the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall, and make a cameo appearance in popular British soap ‘Emmerdale’, performing ‘Songbird’.

At the end of 2007, they released their follow-up album ‘Into Paradise’ to much critical acclaim. 2008 continued where the previous year had ended, with the girls continuing to perform across the UK. In the spring they embarked on a Cathedral tour and also performed at some of the country’s most prestigious venues with concerts at Sandringham, Blenheim Palace and Gawsworth Hall. To top it all, they were invited to perform the National Anthem at the England vs. USA football match at Wembley Stadium.

The girls spent much of 2009 in the recording studio preparing for their third album. However they did manage to continue performing, and were invited to support Katherine Jenkins on her summer concert tour. Later that year, they performed at several UK arenas as part of the ‘Young Voices’ tour. Their third album ‘Fly Away’ was released in early 2010, and raced straight to the top of the Classical charts. The album found All Angels spreading their musical wings to explore folk songs, musicals, modern classics and spirituals. Tapping into the spirit of optimism triggered by the dazzling arrival of Barack Obama on the world stage, the common theme binding the material together was its American origins.

2010 was an eventful year and saw a change to original line-up with newcomer Rachel Fabri joining the group. They also continued to perform all over the UK with several summer festival appearances and concerts all over the world. At the end of the year they released a mini EP called Starlight which topped the amazon easy listening charts. The remarkable accomplishment is that all their work has been achieved whilst completing their A-Levels and studying at University. 2011 is already looking like world domination with a series of concerts around the Globe from Spain to the USA. The future is very bright for All Angels….

Siren Sisters

The Siren Sisters are a blonde, brunette and red head combo from Cardiff crooning tunes from the 40's. Think blue birds, white cliffs and apple blossom….

Following in the footsteps of the Andrews, Boswell and Dinning Sisters, this titillating trio will have you tapping your toes and humming along to the nostalgic tunes of yesteryear.

Credits include the Wales Festival of Remembrance at St David’s Hall, RHS Flower Show at Cardiff Castle, Armed Forces Day 2011, Commemoration of the Evacuation of Dunkirk in France, Bestival Music Festival on the Isle of Wight and regular guest appearances on The Roy Noble Show, BBC Radio Wales. For more information and tour dates see their website www.thesirensisters.co.uk

Retro red lips, silk stockings, milk and honey harmonies and two of them are real sisters!

Take pART

Take pART is Rhondda Cynon Taff Cultural Services participation programme that is supported by the Arts Council of Wales in our three Theatres. The aim of the project is to offer local community members the opportunity to participate in a variety of artistic development s that link to our Live programme.

Now in it’s 3rd year participants have had the opportunity to engage in drama, music, dance and performances ranging from the annual professional pantomime, to singing along such artist as Mal Pope, to performing live on the Wales millennium stage in Cardiff.

The group is part of the Performance Crew song writing and Dance academy based at the Muni Arts Centre and Park and Dare Theatre. Their performance is a mixture of original songs written by the young people as well as favourite songs old and new, with a twist - so be prepared for the unexpected.

Mathew Frederick

Mathew Frederick is the winner of the 2011 Original Singer/Songwriter Competition organised by the Sonig Youth Music Industry.

He secured a performance at Ponty’s Big Weekend and the chance to record an EP after thrilling judges earlier this year with his unique and original style.

Quirky is one word to describe the talented Rhondda resident, who began playing aged five on a “baby keyboard” before upgrading, just two years later, to a stand-up piano that cost £30 and was transported from West Wales to Mathew’s home in a horsebox!

Mathew continues to produce most of his material on the treasured piano and is looking forward to impressing the crowds in Ynysangharad Park with his inimitable style.

As well as being a solo artist, Mathew is also a member of the covers band Aniseed, who like to experiment with songs audiences wouldn’t expect to be covered – with Ignition by R Kelly one of the current favourites!