UWTSD students work with Mal Pope on Calon Lân the Musical


Today (Thursday, May 9th), Swansea music stalwart Mal Pope will launch his latest musical, Calon Lân – an exciting creative project which students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) are being given the opportunity to become involved with.

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Calon Lân has been commissioned by the Swansea Grand Theatre to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Swansea becoming a city.  Drawing on a rich Welsh heritage of hymns and arias, Mal Pope has written a scintillating score that features a cast including some of the finest Welsh West End performers. Calon Lân will be directed by Maxine Evans, director of The Revlon Girl (Olivier nominee 2018) and will be staged at the Grand Theatre from June 28th until July 6th.

As a Professor of Practice at UWTSD, Mal Pope was keen to work with students on the project with their first involvement being to work on the recording and the filming of the production’s launch single and video -  both being released today. 

Warm Wind is the finale song from Calon Lân and some weeks ago, students from the UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art BA Music Technology and BA Film and Television studies programmes came together at the University’s Swansea Studios to record the single and shoot this first promotional video.  Featuring Mal Pope and the Morriston Orpheus Choir, UWTSD Music Technology students recorded the track whilst the Film and TV students worked with the crew on the video production – also filming the shoot to create a ‘behind-the-scenes’ documentary.

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“When I was asked to take on the role of Professor of Practice at UWTSD I didn't want it to be an honorary position,” says Mal.

“For a number of years before receiving my Professorship I had been working with UWTSD students on my theatre and TV productions.  When I was asked to produce a new show to celebrate Swansea at 50 I knew I wanted to give these talented young people the chance to work with experienced professionals in media, film and theatre.

“I love the students’ enthusiasm and I hope they get a chance to learn with us, make some great connections and have a really enjoyable experience during our time working together,” adds Mal. 

Caroline Thraves, Head of the School of Fine and Media Arts at Swansea College of Art (UWTSD) is extremely pleased that the students are being given such valuable opportunities as part of their studies.

“We are delighted that our Music Technology and our Film and Television undergraduate students have had the opportunity to work on this project with our Professor of Practice, Mal Pope.  It allows students the opportunity to work on a live industry project which is hugely beneficial to them,” says Caroline.

Adam Howell, Technical Demonstrator, Music Technology at UWTSD agrees that this project has given students a valuable industry focussed experience. 

"It was a fantastic project for our students to take part in; allowing them to gain vital experience by observing and working closely with professionals in a creative environment that will help them to develop confidence in both their technical and organisational skills,” says Adam.  “The students were very grateful to have the opportunity to record such a prestigious and well renowned choir that’s very dear to local community.  It’s also fantastic to be able to contribute towards an important landmark event with the city approaching its 50th anniversary."

BA Music Technology student, Dylan Clement was very grateful to have the opportunity to take part.  "The experience was immensely helpful with both learning new technical skills as well as gave insight on a professional recording scenario."

Timi O’Neill, Programme Director of BA Film and TV course is also pleased to be able to offer his students the opportunity to work with industry professionals.

“The aim of the BA Film & TV course is to provide students with the opportunity to work with professionals across a range of arts and entertainment,” says Timi.  “This project was a perfect example of how students engaged with a successful theatre and musical project.”

BA Film & TV student, Ash Holland adds:  “In filming the event, we had great fun but more importantly, we learnt how to act professionally and work with an established client." 

As well as involving students at the University’s Swansea College of Art, those on the University’s Cardiff-based BA and MA Musical Theatre, and Welsh medium BA and MA Perfformio (Performance) programmes will also have the opportunity to take part in the production and will be auditioning for roles to join the cast in the next few weeks.

The UWTSD link with Calon Lân continues even further as it has today been announced that Kev Johns – a fellow of the University – will play the serious role of Henry Evans, Evan’s father.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is also delighted to sponsor this special production that will be the pinnacle of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Swansea’s city status.

To watch the promotional video that the students worked on – recorded and filmed at UWTSD’s Swansea Studios - please visit: https://youtu.be/fMneI6XmPmo

Calon Lân runs at the Swansea Grand Theatre from June 28 until July 6 July.  

For more information on the courses offered at UWTSD, please visit www.uwtsd.ac.uk

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Further Information


For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk