Blodwen (Double Finyl)
Blodwen (Double Finyl)
Blodwen, the first Welsh opera, was written by Joseph Parry when he was head of the music department at Aberystwyth College, and published by the author at Aberystwyth in 1878 at a cost of £400. Its first performance at Aberystwyth on May 12st 1878 was warmly received, and by the summer of 1879 it was said that it had been performed some 50 times. In 1896 Joseph Parry proudly boasted that it had been staged some 500 times in Wales, England and America, and that parts of it had been sung many times more on eisteddfod and concert platforms during the same period.
Following the death of the composer in 1903 there was considerable debate among musicians of Wales as to its worth. Some believed that it has a colourful background, and that it consisted of sufficient melody to make half a dozen operas. Others argued that the libertto by Richard Davies (Mynyddog) was quite nonsensical, and that Parry's music was no more than a cheap imitation of Rossini and some early Verdi.
One thing of which most of the critics were evidently not aware was that Joseph Parry had written parts of the opera, and rehearsed them initially on the piano before student audience, before he asked Mynyddog to convey from his home at Cemaes to Aberystwyth those parts. An unusual way of writing an opera perhaps, but that was Parry's procedure in writing some of his oratorios as well!
Exactly a hundred years after the first performance of the opera to the accompaniment of the piano and harmonium ar Aberstwyth, Blodwen was performed as part of Gwyl Cerdd Menai with orchestral accompaniment, and broadcast 'live' on sound radio. This was a new experience for all opera enthusiasts, and an occasion on which all the views expressed by critics were either completely forgotten or conveniently disregarded. It was also an occasion on which we were reminded that Wales in the last century was one of the few nations in Europe which did not have operatic tradition of its own!
1. 'Rwy'n dod o'r Wyddfa uchel bell
2. Syr Hywel o'r Wyddfa
3.Rhowch fanerau ar y muriau
4.Boed heddwch i'n harglwyddes
5.Ysbrydion y derion a'r da
6.Mae marchog mendefigaidd wrth y porth
7, o gartref yr Eryr y daethom eindau
8. Un blodeuglwm o bleserau
9.Ynwyneb y nef
1.Y Ser ar fynwes y ffurfafen
2.Cydlawenhawn am funud awr
3.Yn enw Harri Ddewr o Loegr bell
4.Mae'r haul yn codi dros y bryn
5.Mae seren ofnadwy yn dyfod pob hwyr
6.Tra byddo yr heliwr yn hela
7.Ychydig a ŵyr ef
8.Hywel, be ti'n geisio yma?
9.Cenad fy arglwyddes oddi wrth dwysog Cymru
10.Mae Cymru'n barod ar y ŵys
1.Mae swn rhyfel yn y gwynt
3.Cenad o faes y gwaed, fy arglwyddess
4.Mae Harri a'i fyddinoedd yn dod fel y don
5.Mae 'mywyd bron â rhedeg
6.Arthur annwyl, paid â'm gadael
1. Mae ffawd yn cefnu ar ein byddin gref
2.Fy Nhad a fu farw'n carchar
3.Breuddwydiais i neithiwr ddiwethaf
4.Mae'r Seren wedi machlud
5.Bu galed iawn yn brwydro
6.Chwibanu rhyddion odlau
7.Fy mlodwen, f'anwylyd, fy mhopeth
8.Cenwch y clychau/gwae, gwae ein glwad
9.Ai dyma gell Syr Hywel ddu?
10.Moliannwn, Moliannwn y nefoedd!