Studying voice in Berlin is quite a change from being home in Wales for tenor, Efan Williams. Efan's home is the village of Lledrod, not far from Aberystwyth, tucked between the majestic Cambrian Mountains and beautiful coastline of Cardigan Bay.
Efan’s first language is Welsh, and the strong singing tradition of his country has clearly rubbed off on him. You can hear some clips below. We’re very grateful to him for our Cymraeg page on the site and for taking time to tell us about his singing. Diolch yn fawr iawn, Efan!
Les Berceaux (Faure) - Accompaniment track
Mondnacht (Schumann) - Accompaniment track
So, tell us a bit about how you got into singing?My earliest recollection is hearing Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma, resulting in opera replacing football as my first love!
What do you like to sing?I love singing the French and Italian opera repertoire. My favourite composers to sing would be Gounod, Bizet, and Donizetti.
Who or what is your biggest musical influence?I think seeing Bryn Terfel’s progress in the opera world has given me a lot of hope! Nicolai Gedda would have to be my favourite tenor.
Tell us about a recent concert you performed in.I recently performed the part of Tamino in some concerts of extracts of Die Zauberflöte.
Are you a professional or semi-professional singer or is it more of a pastime?Semi-professional, I suppose, with ambitions of singing full time in the future.
Has your singing led you to be involved in any charitable work / fundraising?I used to be part of a group in Dublin that used to do a lot of busking for cancer research! I helped found a youth choir an Aberystwyth, Wales called Côr Ger y Lli. The choir is still going strong, competing and performing regularly throughout the U.K.
What else do you do in your spare time? Do you have other pastimes or interests apart from singing?I like playing squash, and reading.
Do you have a top tip for getting the most from your voice?Practice, practice, practice!
Imagine you are looking at a concert poster for your ultimate fantasy concert of all time: who is performing and what are they singing?Gounod’s Faust, featuring Gedda, Schwatzkopf, and Terfel!
Have you had any professional training?I’m currently with Janice and Jonathat Alder in Berlin.
Do you have any tips for pre-performance preparation that help steady the nerves?Everyone has their own little superstitions and quirks!
Where do you come from? Why do you choose to live where you do?I’m from Lledrod in west Wales. I’m currently living in Berlin, because I wanted to try somewhere a bit different, and there’s a lot of classical music going on here!
What do you like about Your Accompanist accompaniment tracks?
They are great for learning repertoire, especially for getting a feel for the aria or song early on, and getting it in your head!Photo of Public Footpath near Tyneithinby by kind permission of Ian Medcalf, via www.geograph.org.uk.