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Messiah: Elin Manahan Thomas answers our questions!

We’re really excited about our performance of Messiah with Elin Manahan Thomas this Friday – and to mark the occasion, she’s kindly agreed to give us a five minute interview for this website! Ever wanted to know which is her favourite Messiah aria, or why this oratorio is so special to her? Read on…

What are you most looking forward to about this concert?

I take every opportunity to be back performing in Wales, and I’m thrilled to be returning to sing Messiah. For me, it’s the signal that Christmas is just around the corner! It will be wonderful to sing one of my favourite pieces, in such a fabulous venue in Cardiff. I hope it will be packed out because I can guarantee that everyone in the audience will be uplifted, overawed and filled with festive cheer!

I’m really looking forward to working with Cantemus and Rejouissance for the first time. I’m particularly looking forward to being conducted by Huw Williams, and I hope that we’ll bring an exciting interpretation to the piece, as two Swansea musicians to collaborating together.

What’s your favourite aria in Messiah?

My favourite aria from the Messiah is the amazing bass and trumpet piece, The Trumpet Shall Sound. It’s so uplifting, it always brings a smile to my face and I find myself humming along!

Any other favourite Messiah moments?

I also get shivers when the last Amen crashes in, with the sopranos and tenors soaring over the top. Not because it’s the end – but because it’s such magnificent music, and for me it embodies the hope and light of the Christmas message.

How did you start out as a singer – and what was your first experience of Messiah?

I’ve been singing since I was little, and started out by singing in choirs. My first experience of singing the Messiah was as a chorister for John Hugh Thomas and the Swansea Bach Choir. I remember finding every chorus totally exhilarating, and hard to learn! We performed in the Brangwyn Hall and I was in awe of all the soloists. It still amazes me to find myself being the soloist these days, standing out front!

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