THERE is a mixed bag of events to get this year’s Machynlleth Festival under way with the first three days curated by Dennis Jones, presenting a feast of the very best of Welsh music.

Local artist, tenor Robyn Lyn Evans, fresh from appearing at Powis Castle in the Friends of Mid Wales Opera night this Saturday, heads up this year’s Soloists concert on Monday night, August 20, with the other well known soloists, soprano Rhian Lois and tenor Elgan Llyr Thomas.

A variety of programmes that will be a joy to listen to will be performed accompanied by Eirian Owen, musical director of Côr Godre’r Aran.

Tuesday night’s Welsh Male Voice Choir concert this year welcomes back Cantorion Gogledd Cymru MVC, one of the best male voice choirs in Wales, they produce breathtaking and uncompromising sound that has captivated audiences all over the world.

They are accompanied by Eirian Owen and feature tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones who hails from Anglesey and has appeared in numerous operas throughout the world.

Monday lunchtime’s sold-out Children’s Concert features local artist Aeron Pughe as the pirate Ben Dant with his assistant Cadi, characters from the S4C’s Children Service’s show Cyw.

The festival opens this Sunday night, August 19, with the traditional free Cymanfa Ganu congergational singing event conducted by Alwyn Evans with Tudur Jones as organist for sacred hymns sung with four-part harmony by the audience.

Critic Christopher Cook returns to present the free Raising the Curtain Introduction to the festival talk with special guests on Tuesday, at 1pm, reflecting on the purpose of arts festivals and what they bring to the communities who nurture them.

Cook will be back providing introduction to various concerts from Thursday for the remainder of the festival.

All festival events take place at the Tabernacl arts centre and go on to Sunday, August 26, with other events including the Hallstatt Lecture given by Welsh author Bethan Gwanas on Wednesday lunchtime, the Thursday lunchtime concert of Beethoven sonatas played by Bulgarian pianist Plamenta Mangave, returning this year with Swedish cellist Frans Helmerson and Romanian violinist Mihaela Martin, the evening concert with a Brahms string quintet played plus string quartets by Beethoven and Debussy played by Marmen String Quartet joined by Rosalind Ventris on viola and Marcia Sieniawski on cello, and the Glyndŵr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales presentation to musician and composer Sir Karl Jenkins next Friday.

This year’s festival jazz night is on Wednesday, August 23, and features the legendary percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie a the guest with the Scottish ensemble Trio HLK with whom she recorded the latest CD Standard Time.