Yr Academi a’r Cwmni Opera
Partneriaeth Ysgrifennu Creadigol ac Opera

mike WNO

Ar 26 Mehefin a 3 Gorffennaf 2010 daeth Blaenafon ac Aberdâr yn fyw yn sŵn gweithdai opera ac ysgrifennu creadigol gyda’r bardd perfformio, Mike Church.

Cynhaliodd yr Academi ddau weithdy ar y cyd â WNO MAX i helpu i ddathlu eu prosiect tair blynedd yng Nghymoedd y De-ddwyrain gyda chyllid gan Sefydliad Paul Hamlyn.

Roedd Swyddog Datblygu Llenyddiaeth yn y Cymoedd yr Academi wedi gweithio gyda Chydgysylltydd y cwmni opera mewn nifer o brosiectau gan gynnwys Boxing Beats, Surf Tailz/Surf Academi, Valley of Hope a The Treorchy Journey fel rhan o’r gwaith parhaus o ddatblygu diddordeb mewn llenyddiaeth ac opera ledled y Cymoedd.

Daeth y ddau ddiwrnod o ddathlu a chomisiwn y Cwmni Opera Cenedlaethol, The Journey â’r gerddoriaeth a’r geiriau a grëwyd drwy amrywiaeth o brosiectau cyfansoddi caneuon mewn chwe sir at ei gilydd. Dathlodd Cymunedau’r Cymoedd eu taith gyda’r Cwmni Opera ac yn rhannol gyda’r Academi drwy gydol y rhaglen dair blynedd o waith.

Blaenavon Heritage Day

Mike Church from conversations in Blaenavon

Back in the day

The Blaenavon way,

Chapels fit to burst

Bustling, busy buses

Carried crowds to Commercial Street,

Friday Mornings you couldn’t drive through town.

Workman’s Hall Pantomime packed them in

The chuckling, cheerful, close-knit community

Chorusing in choirs

Counted off at the pithead:

Pummelled, peppered, pink and proud,

When domestic drama was a tin bath

With outside loo and newsprint tattoo.

They were forged in furnaces

Front doors forever open,

Co-operative as the Co-op:

‘It gets friendlier the further up the valley you go

Once bigger than Newport you know’

As immigrants, outsiders

Flooded in from England

Cultivating coal,

Back in the day

The Blaenavon way.

Years pass, the hills have got steeper

The town sleepier,

An industrial museum.

The Heritage Day highlights pack them in

Balloon popping, tub thumping, beer swilling, chip cartooned crowds

Stream through the high street once more.

A Welsh National Opear trampled tissue

Lays in the gutter,

A wasted cultural crown.

The youth out of tune

With the Chapel Choir on stage

While the Queen Vic hosts rock and roll

And a youngster sings in to the mic:

‘We don’t need no education’

A siren blares

Set off by children crawling like industrial migrants

Over a fire engine.

Bronze tattooed men

And tattooed white linen ladies

Enjoy beer and ice cream

Back in the day

The Heritage Way.

And George Spencer’s electrical store

Lights up the town

Charting moves from radiogram to ipod nano,

Death notices decorate the display,

While George stays razor sharp

At 84

He knows more about Pobol y Cwm

Than S4C

He can see the loss of aspiration

And the rise of multi-nationals

Watching a stranglehold on culture

As the cinema crumbles

And the Co-op shrinks

Around the kebab and pizza house.

But George guards hope

And still mends TV’s

His door forever open,

He’s known them all

As the Community Policeman nips in

For respite from the Heritage foray

And has a sly fag and smile behind the counter

Back in the day

The Blaenavon Way.


The Suitcase

Aeron Elias

Alone on the railway station platform, I sit waiting,

Why doesn’t someone pick me up?

Why doesn’t someone take me home?

Alone, I sit as others are carried away,


Wait a moment, I’m being lifted up,

Wait a moment, I’m boarding the train,

A gentle hand is holding me, carrying me,

You see, I’m not just a suitcase anymore,

I’m someone’s luggage.

The Suitcase

Jeff Thomas

It’s full of tricks that were all a flop

Dummies and dolls and frogs that don’t hop

Sticks, white scarves and top hats too

Doves and rabbits and a didgeridoo

It could be a life that’s almost through


It could be full of a mountain range

Cream Himalayas. Well that would be strange

Or a ocean of ginger beer

And a swimming horse. Oh, that would be queer.



The Suitcase

Maureen Thornton

There’s a suitcase in my attic,

All dusty and old

There are treasures within it

Worth more than gold

Fluffy booties from my babies feet

A lock of hair tied with

Ribbons so neat

Some photographs of us all together

In sun, snow, all kinds of weather

A Christmas scene, a Christmas tree

A photo of my grandchild on my knee.

A wedding bouquet, a silver key

The funeral coat, I wore for my love

Who is now in Heaven above

My life is within this case to show

How I have loved

To the human race

And when at last my life is through

I leave behind this case of memories

To you.

The Suitcase

Judy Toms

The brown suitcase

stock still


against the coloured carpet edge

spelt sunshine

spelt seaside

spellt FUN.

The man

belonging to the suitcase

stood stock still

eyes glued to the square shoulder pads

defining the dated brown suit

in his wardrobe

and exploded “Brighton”

out loud, VERY LOUD.

The labels on the surface

of the suitcase

told tales

bolkd tales

now old tales

of Hotel rooms

now faded, shabby with dusty memories

turned over too often

like the corners of the case,

the compendium of better days.