Ceredigion singer lives out movie moment as he’s flown in to perform opera

By James Davies   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 23rd June 2022 2:38 pm
@ThatJamesDavies
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Adam Gilbert
In the nick of time: Adam arriving in style to perform whilst the opera was in full swing (Adam Gilbert )

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A Ceredigion opera singer lived his movie star moment when he was flown into his performance via helicopter last week.

Adam Gilbert, 33, from Cenarth has been an opera singer for 12 years, working for ten as a baritone before transitioning into a tenor for the last two.

However, across these 12 years, Adam has never had an experience quite like that of last Tuesday.

What started as a normal day, in which Adam had planned to take his three-year-old son to see the seals at Cardigan Island, turned out to be more like something from a movie.

At midday, Adam got a call to tell him he was needed to perform at the Glyndborne Festival later that evening in a production of Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers.

Adam had rehearsed for the role back in April but with Rodrigo Porras Garulo taking the role, Adam didn’t expect to see the stage.

However, with Rodrigo and his understudy unavailable, Adam was asked to step in and perform some 280 miles away.

Speaking to the Cambrian News, Adam said that his first thought was of his son.

“My first thought was what do I do with my son but luckily my wife could have him and I was able to get away quickly. I was really excited about it- it’s an incredible opportunity and a real thrill to be performing at Glyndebourne,” he said.

“My main concern was getting there as it’s a long way and with the start of the show at 5pm it was already unlikely that I’d make it on time. Overall, I was so looking forward to it and trying to stay calm whilst going over all the music in my mind along the way!”

After starting his journey and making to Bristol however, Adam was told to drive to Bath where he would be met by a helicopter waiting to take him on the rest of his journey. Speaking about the helicopter, Adam said: “It was Absolutely thrilling! It went so much faster than I expected! There were massive windows so I managed to get a really good view and Alex the pilot was so keen to point out things we passed and keeping me chilled.”

Despite the excitement however, Adam knew he had to keep calm and ready to perform.

“I really tried to keep as calm as possible so I could focus on the performance to do my best. With so many unknowns in a show like this I really had to keep my head screwed on!”

Adam arrived at Glyndebourne where the first act had already commenced, with Rodrigo doing his best to sing but Adam was set to go and promptly took to the stage.

“The performance was incredible, I felt so supported by everyone there, orchestra, conductor Robin, management and everyone on and off stage. It was a real collaborative effort and a joy to the part of. Particularly after the rough couple of years everyone has had it was a real feel-good moment!”

But despite all this movie magic, when asked if he ever managed to get his son to see the seals he said: “No! He hasn’t forgiven me yet either!

“I will certainly have to take him when I’m back – I’m performing in Southampton so fingers crossed it won’t be long!”

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