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Swansea International Festival returns for 2017

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THE 2017 Swansea International Festival heralds in the autumn with a wealth of such exciting and diverse national and international talent that it will be impossible not to tempt you out and about for the next two weeks!

For the opening concert at the Brangwyn Hall, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Tecwyn Evans, will play a programme of Copland and Dvorak, with Karl Jenkins’ harp concerto, Over the Stone, being performed by brilliant Welsh harpist Catrin Finch.

BBC NOW are also making a return to the Festival with their successful Family Concert, conducted by Clark Rundell and compered by Naomi Wilkinson – a regular face on CBBC and CITV.

With music from films such as The Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Simpsons this has proved to be a popular event for families when introducing their youngsters to the fun of live music – as well as giving them the opportunity to try out some instruments for themselves before the concert!

If you like your music a little more avant-garde then take in The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments with their adventure in words and music based on the writings of Francis Bacon. Performing on extraordinary lost instruments from history they conjure a special world of music, physics, theatre and philosophy Or go along and hear percussionist extraordinaire Joby Burgess and his adrenalin-fuelled Powerplant concert where he uses an aluminium harp, typewriter, giant steel sheet, electronics and video with such musical athleticism that it will astound you!

Take in a whole day of activity on October 8 when you can hear a recital from talented young pianist Tim Horton, enjoy lunch with the Festival Friends, then a talk by broadcaster Stephen Johnson and a piano recital by Wales’ own international talent Llŷr Williams.

Next week is just as busy with organist Jonathan Hope giving his own live improvisation to the 1925 Lon Chaney classic silent film, Phantom of the Opera; Thomas Carroll’s Orpheus Sinfonia, performing in Swansea for the first time; two very much home-grown plays – Granton Street and Not About Heroes; the Russian State Opera with two of Puccini’s most powerful operas – Madam Butterfly and Tosca; Ballet Cymru’s delightful new ballet The Light Princess and James Wilton Dance’s athletic contemporary ballet Leviathan.

There is a unique opportunity to hear Lord Heseltine in conversation with Jamie Owen, A Primary Schools Festival and Free Lunchtime Lectures and a Morriston Hospital Music Festival – and much, much more.

Two concerts round off the Festival for 2017 – The Dunvant Male Choir and Morriston RFC Male Choir, with soloist Gwawr Edwards, sing some of your most well-loved songs in their concert on 13 October and on 14 October the St.Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Dmitriev, with solo cellist Tim Hugh, will bring the Festival to a rousing finale.

See Festival website for full details on: www.swanseafestival.org

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Council crews deal with fall-out of Storm Ophelia

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL staff had a busy afternoon and night dealing with the fall-out of storm Ophelia which battered the west coast.

The highways team dealt with 34 separate incidents throughout the county as extreme winds brought down trees, branches and electricity cables well into the early hours of this morning (Oct 17).

During the day the Met Office recorded winds of 75mph on Cefn Sidan sands, but the council received most calls during the evening, with the storm’s intensity seeming to peak between 4pm and 9pm.

Crews attended to clear fallen trees from Glandy Cross to Carmarthen, Llandovery to Llanelli where one tree fell onto a car in Vauxhall Street – thankfully with no injuries.

Electricity cables were brought down in St Clears with damage to property roofs in Water Street, Carmarthen, and Capel Hendre.

All routes were open this morning, but crews are now clearing debris along miles of road.

Cllr Hazel Evans, executive board member for environment, said: “Our frontline crews were out into the early hours of this morning in terrible conditions to clear and re-open roads. Back at base, our duty officers, contact centre staff and Careline agents also dealt with a large number of calls from members of the public. I’d like to thank all staff for their efforts, as well as farmers, landowners and police who helped throughout the storm.”

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Two hospitalised and dogs cut free after crash

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TWO people have been taken to Morriston Hospital following a crash in the early hours of this morning (Oct 17).

Fire crews also had to cut two dogs free from the wreckage following the collision, which involved a 4×4 vehicle.

The collision took place between Pencader and Llandysul shortly after 1am.

A spokesperson for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We received a call at 1.14am this morning to reports of a traffic collision three miles outside Pencader.

“Fire crews from Carmarthen and Llandysul had to release two dogs from the vehicle using small gear, a short extension ladder and lighting equipment.”

A spokesperson for the Welsh Ambulance Service added: “We sent two crews in emergency ambulances and a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle and two patients were taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.”

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Rugby player left needing surgery

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A RUGBY player was left needing surgery after an unprovoked attack left him with a broken jaw.

Chris Rogers was in action for Ferryside against Pontardawe in a League 3 West Central C game on Saturday, October 14, when the incident occurred.

The Herald understands that a scuffle had broken out between a few other players towards the end of their match and that Chris was standing away from this.

It is alleged that a Pontardawe player came from behind and attacked Chris. He was treated at the scene and taken to Morriston Hospital.

Chris had surgery on Sunday night and the Herald were told that he was allowed home from hospital on Monday (Oct 16). His face is still swollen and he is still in shock from the incident.

Pontardawe’s secretary has called to see how the player is doing.

It was the first time the two sides have played each other and there was no apparent reason behind the alleged attack.

The police have also been informed of the incident.

Chris had to have a plate and wiring put in his jaw and the doctors have told him not to play again.

Ferryside Coach Nathan Jones told the Herald that Chris is totally ‘against violence’ and that it was very sad that this sort of thing had happened to him.

Chris and the Club have received much support from the wider community with a number of people saying that there is no place in rugby for something like this.

The Herald wishes Chris a full recovery from his injuries.

A spokesperson for South Wales Police told the Herald: “South Wales Police received a report of an assault on Sunday, October 15, at 09:46hrs, in connection with an incident the previous day (15:30hrs).

“Police are currently investigating the assault of the male. If witnesses have any information please contact 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 quoting occurrence: 1700401165.”

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