Search for dazzling dueters

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Friday 13th May 2022 12:00 pm
@JulieCambrian
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A Welsh-speaking German has teamed up with a top tenor to launch a search for budding singers from Gwynedd to perform with their musical idols.

Local government officer Hendrik Robisch, from Essen, and singing star Rhys Meirion, from Porthmadog, are looking for music loving dreamers to take part in dazzling duets on the popular S4C television series, Canu Gyda Fy Arwr (Singing With My Hero).

Hendrik, 50, relaxes from his job handling calls from worried farmers about wolves killing their sheep by singing folk songs and encouraging others to learn the language.

He actually took part in the last series of the hit show when he got to sing a duet with one of his favourite Welsh musicians, Gwilym Rhys Bowen.

According to Hendrik, it was such a wonderful experience that he wants to encourage others to follow in his footsteps and sign up for the third series to be broadcast later this year.

Anyone who would like to take part, or who would like to nominate somebody else, needs to contact Caernarfon-based production company, Cwmni Da, by 30 June.

Rhys Meirion said: “This is television at its best. Professional singers do not normally invite audience members onto stage to sing with them. Everyone dreams about duetting with their idols and many sing in the bath or shower, but they know it’s never going to happen. But in Canu Gyda Fy Arwr we give them that golden opportunity.”

He added that those chosen to take part in the show get to meet their idol and chat before rehearsing a song and performing on stage with them in front of an audience of friends, family or complete strangers.

Former contestant Hendrik, on his day job, said wolves were re-introduced into Germany at the start of the century. Taking calls about them from worried residents is just one of his tasks at work.

“It is varied work taking calls from people who have problems such as wolves killing their sheep. I give advice and sort out their concerns and pass on their details to other agencies,” he said.

His interest in learning Welsh began when he and his wife planned a holiday to Wales five years ago. Hendrik was given an online language course as a Christmas present to help learn Welsh ahead of the visit.

He said: “It was a great experience to sing with Gwilym. We met in Cardiff and Gwilym had already undertaken a project with children with varying backgrounds and languages and they joined us in the duet. It was very uplifting.

“My friends don’t understand why I have learned Welsh but I think they admire me for it. They think it’s cool.”

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.

“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.”

Applications should be submitted to Cwmni Da at www.cwmnida.cymru/canu before 30 June. If you have any enquiries before applying please email [email protected] or phone 01286 685300

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