This week Sue Lawley's castaway is the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel. Still only in his 30s, he's sung at the world's biggest opera houses and can pick and choose where he works and the productions he wants to star in. He began singing in his first competitions at the age of three. Born into a farming family in the tiny village of Pentglas in North Wales which has only a handful of houses, one shop and one church, he was brought up singing at Chapel and regularly competed and won the National Eistedfodd cultural event.
His first language was Welsh and as a young child he had to communicate with English children camping on his parents land in the summer holidays with sign language. It was from those children he eventually learnt the language and by watching television. As a teenager, he considered being a fireman or a policeman, but he won a scholarship to the Guildhall in London and the rest is history. Since then, he's performed and recorded all the great operatic works as well as a number of 'cross-over' CDs of hits from musicals and also an album in Welsh.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Favourite track: Return to Sender by Elvis Presley
Book: Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
Luxury: Millenium Centre in Cardiff
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