Director – Daniel Rhys Williams
Daniel has been a Carmarthen Youth Opera stalwart since 1999, joining the group for Guys and Dolls. His love for the theatre had begun and he went on to win the president’s shield seven years later for his part as Fagin in Oliver! Becoming a theatre regular with groups in Carmarthen from CAOS to Just Good Friends to Merlin, Daniel then went into the field of education and made Performing Arts his focus. He inspired many young people who would go on to pursue their own ambitions in the theatre and Performing Arts.
He continues to work in schools producing and writing educational shows and has been directing young people in musicals for the last ten years. Daniel made his Lyric Theatre directorial debut with CAOS in 2015 directing The Wizard of Oz and, in the same year, won the President’s Shield for the second time with the Youth Opera for his portrayal of Gomez in The Addams Family. During this time Daniel was the co-founder and director of the Mini Players Theatre School, which proved highly successful for a number of years giving hundreds of children and young people the opportunity to perform in big productions.
Daniel is also a keen writer and has staged many farcical plays of his own with his group the Principal Players. In 2017 Daniel received his biggest honour which was becoming the artistic director for the very company that started his creative ambition. Daniel directed Carmarthen Youth Opera’s Guys and Dolls (2018), their 40th anniversary spectacular Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2019) and My Fair Lady (2020).
Daniel has worked with many professionals over the years but couldn’t be more privileged to be working alongside the committed and talented individuals that make up the Carmarthen Youth Opera. He looks forward to the future with the company and hopes to see everyone return to the auditorium very soon.
Musical Director – Bridget Radford
Bridget trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Classical singing with Beatrix Unsworth and also received coaching sessions in Musical Theatre with Mary Hammond. She has been a singing teacher and vocal coach for over twenty years and is also the Musical Director of Cor Lleisiau Hardd a mixed choir based in Llanelli. Bridget runs Seren Performing Arts which is a performing arts school based at Theatr Y Ffwrnes.
Her involvement with Carmarthen Youth Opera started in 1985 as a performer and then in more recent years as part of the production team . In 2016 Bridget was Musical Director for ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ and then returned in 2020 for ‘My Fair Lady’. Bridget feels very privileged to MD such a prestigious Youth Company.
Choreographer – Rachel Saddler
Rachel began dancing at the Gwen Wilkin School for premiere Danseurs. At the age of 17 she moved to Wales to train and after graduating taught at Cardigan School of Dancing. She now runs her own school, Steps Starlets, where she teaches Cheerleading, Pom Dance, Hip Hop Jazz and Tumble, and competes both Nationally and Internationally. She also choreographs and is wardrobe mistress for Forge Drama.
Rachel joined the Youth Opera in 2007 with her children Millie and Henry and has never looked back, either choreographing or in wardrobe and enjoying being part of the Youth Opera family.
After working in QE High for 16 years she is this year returning to university to fulfil her ambition to become a social worker.
Rachel enjoys nothing better than building children’s confidence, seeing them blossom whether it is for a performance or life.
Accompanist – Hazel Thorogood
“Hazel has been part of Carmarthen Youth Opera since the late 1980’s having moved to the area from her native Brecon. She started her piano playing days at the age of 8 under the instruction of the late Hazel Gedge, organist of Brecon Cathedral.
Hazel was previously employed by NatWest Bank and is now a Finance Officer for Castell Howell Foods Ltd.”
Steve Elias – 2014 -2017
Adrian Rowlands – 2005 – 2013
Elizabeth Evans MBE – 1979 – 2004
Previous Musical Directors
Gareth Kirby – 2009 – 2015, 2017-2019
Bridget Radford – 2016
Hywel Benjamin – 2001 – 2008
Edward John – 1998 – 2000
Christopher Broome – 1997
John Morgan – 1988 – 1996
Enfys David-Jones/Williams – 1984 – 1987
David Lloyd Davies – 1982 – 1983
Ian Thomas – 1981
Paul Thomas – 1979 – 1980
Previous Choreographers/Dance Repetiteurs
Hannah La Trobe 2018
Rachel Saddler 2009-2014
Llinos McCarthy – 2005
Joanne Morris – 2005-2014
Jayne Randall – 1997
Michael Wray – 1990, 1992-1993
Helen Croker/Hughes – 1982-1991, 1998-2008
Elizabeth Evans – 1979-1981
Hazel Thorogood – 1988-1996, 2004-2014
Jessica Bowen – 2013-2016
Sarah Thomas/Kirby – 2013-2018
Roger Hart – 2000-2005
Calvin Price – 1986
David Poulter – 1984-1985, 1987, 1990, 1994-1995,1997-1999
Stephen P Rees – 1982
Ian Jones – 1981
Ian Thomas – 1980
Mair Cooper – 1980