When the world is dark we need a brighter stage,
to light imagination in the gloom,
And thus it was, a long lifetime ago,
when the lamps went out across Europe,
that Idloes dreamed a feast of song,
from a house in Llandaf North, and a chapel in Crwys Road
aria by aria, peace was sung anew
and then wandered the world over…
His homely invite still obtains today.
We may stand at the kitchen-door of genius,
to smell the simmering strings,
and bubbling woodwind,
as we covet another plateful of tales
and crave the complex flavours of the voice…
that shock their way from ear to heart.
Tonight, we celebrate in intermezzo.
No-one’s trilling vowels right now,
shaping consonants like pearls between their teeth,
yet soprano memories and tenor ghosts move amongst us
daring us to re-wire the spark between stage
and audiences of all kinds…
Daring us to spread the magic
that leaves you wanting more,
steering thought as well as emotion….
Because this year, the medium can be reborn,
we’ll learn to sing together once again,
until we feel the comet-dust, deep within our bones…
because when the world is dark, it needs its brighter stage…
Ifor ap Glyn
Bardd Cenedlaethol Cymru / National Poet of Wales
(to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Welsh National Opera, 15.4.21)