Building the Stage for Future Success; Bryn Terfel Will Launch the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama's Pounds 3.5m Fundraising Drive Next Week. Karen Price Finds out More about It

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Byline: Karen Price

COULD there be a better patron for the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama's new pounds 3.5m fundraising campaign than Bryn Terfel?

The international bass baritone - and fiercely proud Welshman - may have a diary jam-packed with concert engagements (he's currently taking a break from major opera productions) but he is still finding time to support this cause in his homeland.

Although Terfel himself was not a student of the college - he trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama - he is a staunch supporter of the Cardiff-based conservatoire.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the college had received planning permission for a pounds 22.5m scheme to create a suite of world-class training and performance facilities in a new landmark building at the city centre site.

While 80% of the funding needed is already in place, including a grant of pounds 10m from the Welsh Assembly Government, the college now needs to raise the further pounds 3.5m.

Terfel, who is currently in Washington for a concert, will return to Wales in time for Tuesday's official launch of the fundraising campaign, A Stage For Success.

"The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has a pedigree which stretches back 60 years, during which time it has seen some of the UK and Wales' finest performing artists pass through its doors," says Terfel, who is a Fellow of the conservatoire.

"Over the last decade Cardiff has been transformed and has a new sense of purpose.

These stunning facilities will create a new gateway to Wales' capital city, and will perfectly complement the great performing venues we already have in Wales Millennium Centre and St David's Hall.

"These are state-of-the-art facilities that I could only have dreamed of when I entered the profession.

"They will beckon talented young people from around the world to study in Wales. When these emerging artists step into the professional world they can be confident that they have been prepared to the highest level."

Terfel, a farmer's son who still lives near Caernarfon with his wife Lesley and three young sons, has a long association with the Welsh capital. …