A final call has been sent out to bathroom baritones, wannabe sopranos, taproom tenors and aspiring altos from North Wales urging them to bid for a bit of TV stardom.
The popular S4C show, Canu gyda fy Arwr, is looking for music-loving dreamers to take part in the new series hosted by top tenor Rhys Meirion – but time is running out because the deadline for entries is June 30.
According to Rhys, who lives in Pwllglas, near Ruthin, and hails from Blaenau Ffestiniog the programme, offers anyone with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing a song with their musical hero live in front of an appreciative audience.
He said: “This will be the third series of the programme and we’ve already had quite a few nominations. But there is still time for anyone to put in their bid to fulfill their dream and sing with their hero.
“Everyone dreams about it and many sing in the bath or shower about duetting with their idols but they know it’s never going to happen.
“Taking part in this programme really is a unique opportunity. It is never going to happen anywhere else and it was an unforgettable experience for those that have already taken part in previous series.
“It is one of the best things I have been involved in on television and I can’t wait to get started.”
He added there was no need to be shy and if someone wants to bring along a friend or two, they are welcome to do so.
“And it isn’t always necessary to have a good singing voice either. Making this programme is all about fulfilling a dream and having a lot of fun and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
Canu gyda fy Arwr is broadcast in a prime-time slot on S4C and is made by Caernarfon-based TV production company Cwmni Da.
Those chosen to take part in the show get to meet their idol and chat before rehearsing a song and then performing on a stage in front of an audience of friends, family or complete strangers.
Cwmni Da producer Siwan Haf said: “Canu gyda fy Arwr is about celebrating the joy and emotion that comes from singing, so we encourage anyone who wants an unforgettable experience to apply.
“The first two series remained broadly the same but there will be some exciting changes in the next series.”
She added a large number of people have already expressed their interest in taking part in the third series.
“But we would still welcome more applications. Anyone who would like to sing with their favourite singer or band live on a stage in front of an audience should get in touch with us. We’d love to make it happen for them.”
Among those who’ve already lived the dream is Sioned James Bevan, who lives in Rhostryfan near Caernarfon.
She was surprised at the number of people who still come up to her and say how much they enjoyed her singing with rock star Bryn Fôn.
The school teacher who works at Ysgol y Creuddyn, in Penrhyn Bay near Llandudno, was put forward by a friend who wanted to surprise Sioned on her birthday. She sang a duet with Bryn on the programme in front of her pupils.
Sioned said: “It certainly was a surprise. I had no idea this was being planned until I saw Rhys come into the school with a camera crew.
“Then I met Bryn and he was lovely. Indeed, Rhys and the whole crew were so warm and friendly it made the whole experience so enjoyable.
“It was my 40th birthday last year and singing with Bryn Fôn had been on my bucket list for a while but to actually do it was unforgettable. And even though it was a surprise it was a very special experience,” she said.
Sioned added what made it additionally special was that she was able to sing in the school hall before her pupils on the show.
Taking part in the programme was also a special experience for members of the Cwmbach male voice choir from Aberdare.
The 60-strong group was formed in 1921 and has survived to the present day even though it was severely tested by periods of hardship, depression and the Second World War.
During its 100 years it has flourished and built up an enviable record of success in competitions and concert performances.
But the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic put a halt to many of the celebrations planned for their centenary year.
Rhys Meirion was more than happy to step in and organise a very special experience for the choir.
Musical director Mike Thomas said singing the hymn tune ‘Sara’ with Rhys as soloist in the acoustically perfect surroundings of St Elvan’s Church in Aberdare was “fantastic”.
“The hymn was arranged by Gethin Evans, a former conductor of the choir and his son, the actor Ieuan Rhys, was in the doorway of out of sight when we started singing. When he walked in it became very emotional. But it was all a fantastic experience. Everyone involved in making the programme was so professional and everyone enjoyed it immensely.”
Mike, a retired deputy headteacher at Ysgol Gyfun Blaengwawr in Aberdare, said over the years the choir had been involved in several high profile events.
“The choir sang with Paul Robeson in the 1950s in London and had the honour of being the choir at the first international match played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2000. It was against France and Wales got hit for six. As the teams walked off Ieuan Evans came over and said the choir should have played and the players would have sung.
“But the experience of singing with Rhys in the presence of Gethin Evans’ son was something else,” he said.
Applications should be submitted to Cwmni Da online at www.cwmnida.cymru/canu before June 30, 2022. If you have any enquiries before applying, please email [email protected] or phone 01286 685300.