Thursday, 12 November 2009


Rita Landi was born in Breconshire and trained as a coloratura soprano in Italy. She was active as a singer in the 1910s and '20s and then became a teacher. Miss Landi lived at Bettws Fawr which is now part of the county of Gwynedd, and then at Haulfryn in Bath Street, Rhyl, for 40 years. She was the founder and conductor of Rhyl & District Ladies Choir formed in 1931.

They were the first choir in North Wales to broadcast on radio. The ladies of the choir wore blue gowns and red capes and sang to prize-winning effect at eisteddfodau and at an international festival in Madrid in 1949 and 1953. On the second occasion in Spain they were awarded the title "champions of the world" - and that was a real feather in Miss Landi's cap.

The choir sang at local venues such as St. Thomas' Church and Rhyl Pavilion, and at Royalty Theatre Chester, and made two visits to Ireland. Miss Landi taught at four private schools in Rhyl: Colet House in East Parade, Elwy Hall in Grange Road, and Arcville and Blencathra in Russell Road. She also ran Rhyl & District Children's Choir.

Copyright in the photograph belongs to Getty Images. It shows Rita Landi conducting a choir on January 1st, 1951 at Gwrych Castle.