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16 October 2014
the Big Welsh Challenge

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Rebecca Evans

Rebecca Evans

The soprano Rebecca Evans has worked with a number of major opera companies, including regular performances with the Welsh National Opera and Covent Garden. She also hosted the BBC television series A Touch of Classics with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

21st December 2007

After presenting Colin with his last challenge - doing a post-match interview in Welsh

I think this is the perfect challenge for Colin and it's probably what I expected for him. It's going to stretch him but he's very intelligent and very keen and enthusiastic about learning the language. I think he'll do a great job.

Colin shakes Rebecca's hand
Rebecca gets a strong handshake when she arrives at Rodney Parade with the challenge

Colin's been fantastic to work with and I admit I'm a bit of a bully and incredibly pushy and competitive but he's competitive too and that's what you need when you come up against challenges like this. I think I've bullied him into working even harder than he needed to, which is why he's so good!

Watching a DVD
Colin watches Welsh post-match interviews for some inspiration

I think he's going to do really really well and he'll stick at it. I'm going to start texting him in Welsh. He won't answer the messages but I'm going to keep sending them! He's definitely going to come and see me in an opera and I'm doing a concert involved with rugby players in March so he's going to try and come to that too.

25th October 2007

After giving Colin his third challenge, which involves solving a murder mystery

Rebecca meets Colin
Rebecca gives Colin this third challenge

I'm very impressed with my student. The bar has really been raised with this challenge - we're going to have to keep in touch and text each other vocabulary. I'll be testing him. I'm sure he'll have tremendous fun solving the murder though.

Learning some words
Rebecca helps Colin with some new words

I'm hoping to get Colin to come to an opera rehearsal and I'm going to take my little boy to see him play rugby, so we'll see each other again soon.

26th April 2007

Since the first TV programme of The Big Welsh Challenge was screened, a lot of friends have come up to me and said how much they enjoyed it and how they felt sorry for Colin being bossed around by me!

Rebecca gives Colin his second challenge
Rebecca gives Colin his second challenge - calling the steps to a Welsh folk dance

We've just been filming for the second challenge. The task originally looked very daunting for both of us but since we've have time to practise we've realised it's not as complicated as it seemed. I'm very pleased with Colin's progress and his enthusiasm. I've heard him speak quite a bit of Welsh and I'm impressed with his vocabulary.

Colin struggles to get to grips with some of the lines
Colin struggles to get to grips with some of the lines

Rebecca tests Colin's understanding
Rebecca tests Colin's understanding

March 2007

On her partner, Colin:
I think my partner's got tremendous potential. He's very keen to get the pronunciation of the language correct - he cares about it and that's a good sign. He's enthusiastic and I think he's going to do extremely well. I can show him that learning a language is fun and I can teach him a little bit about singing so when he sings the anthem he can show his friends that he can do it with as much panache and style as they can. I can show him that it's a privilege to be able to speak our language. I think by the end of this he'll be amazing his colleagues with his use of the Welsh language.

Rebecca meets Colin
Rebecca meets Colin

On his first challenge (singing Sosban Fach in front of an audience):
The challenge has been perfect for Colin because it's helped build his confidence. It's a tune that he definitely would have heard and been familiar with and he was probably also familiar with some of the Welsh vocabulary that was involved in the song. I think personally I would have been quite daunted but he coped very well with it. You can tell that he's used to coping under pressure because he takes it in his stride.

Rebecca helps Colin with his Welsh
Rebecca helps Colin with his Welsh

Colin gets some singing practice
Colin gets some singing practice

Come back soon for updates

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