Wales at the Lorient Interceltic Festival 2011
The Festival Interceltique de Lorient, the world’s leading festival of Celtic music and dance, attracted around 650,000 visitors over ten days and sold 111,000 tickets. The theme for 2011 was Year of the Celtic Diaspora, with a spotlight on the Celtic peoples who’ve made their homes in other parts of the world but still hold fast to their traditions and languages.
With financial support from the Wales Millennium Centre, Arts Council of Wales, Wales Arts International and Cerdd Cymru Music Wales, we were able to present an enhanced and exciting line-up of performers interpreting our rich traditions in a wide variety of styles.
The Welsh music programme included well established performers Fernhill, Yr Hwntws and Robin Huw Bowen, as part of the main festival programme, performing at a variety of venues to large and very appreciative audiences. Fernhill’s concert in the Palais de Congrès was sensitive and beautiful and Yr Hwntws gave a storming, energetic performance at the Espace Bretagne. Robin Huw Bowen, ambassador for the Welsh triple harp, charmed and wowed audiences throughout the week, culminating in the Soirée de la Harpe, attended for the first time by the French Culture Minister.
The enhanced Welsh programme included the stunning vocals of singer songwriter Lleuwen, performing in Welsh and Breton, and the sublime new harp and fiddle duo DnA (Delyth and Angharad Jenkins) both performing in the new Dôme des Diasporas. To tie in with the Year of the Diaspora we showed three films from Wales, ‘Patagonia’, ‘Hollywood Gaucho’ and ‘Separado!’ followed by an amazing solo performance of Welsh Patagonian music by singer songwriter René Griffiths.
The 80-strong Pendyrus Male Choir from the Rhondda also performed throughout the week, in the Nuits Interceltique as well as a stunning concert of sacred music in Eglise Saint Louis to the largest ever audience at the venue.
The Festival Interceltique de Lorient continues to be a unique opportunity to showcase Wales’s rich cultural traditions and offers a great opportunity for Welsh artists to perform on a significant international stage alongside our Celtic cousins.