Local singing sensation Rebecca Evans chats with Mark Rees as she prepares to kick off 2013 with a performance at the Brangwyn Hall alongside the National Orchestra of Wales.
"I think it will be much better than anything on TV," laughs world renowned soprano Rebecca Evans, of her upcoming performance in the Brangwyn Hall. "Downton Abbey will have been on Christmas Day, which is the only thing worth watching, so come out and enjoy a night of sparkling music instead!"
Born and raised in Pontrhydyfen, Port Talbot, Rebecca is more than familiar with performing at the Brangwyn Hall, and is looking forward to returning there with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
"It's always like a homecoming," she says. "One should always try their best – but I think I try even more so when I perform there. A lot of the people I grew up with come to see me. And my best friends, the people I used to work as a nurse with, will be there. We have a big reunion every January, so it'll be great to catch up with them."
But for all the celebrations, Rebecca, who now lives in Penarth, will also be in a more reflective mood on at the first day of 2013. "My grandfather died on New Year's Eve years ago," she explains, "so its cast something of a shadow on it. I don't party as such, I find the occasion slightly melancholy."
A firm favourite with opera fans throughout the world, Rebecca has long been praised for her inspirational performances. But she is also a firm favourite among her peers, and is relishing the opportunity of passing on some of her vast experience to the upcoming crop of Welsh talent.
"I love teaching," she says. "I'll probably do more as I mature. If I can pass on some of the things I've learned to help future stars, then I'd love to. In fact, I still have lessons myself. My teacher is 88, and I'll probably get a grilling off her on Monday!" she laughs.
Outside of performing, Rebecca has caught the Twitter bug – but tries to keep it for social use only. "I never tweet about my performances – I find that a bit boastful. But I do love reading what everyone else is talking about. I love cooking and food, so I use it for things like MasterChef rather than work. And my husband is one of the top 100 political tweeters in the country, so he's on it a lot too."
BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be performing at the Brangwyn Hall on Tuesday, January 1.