A TEIFI Valley opera singer was flown hundreds of miles by helicopter from west Wales to the south of England to save a show after a tenor and his understudy fell ill.

Cenarth-based Adam Gilbert received the call at midday on Tuesday for a show that evening.

It meant the 33-year-old freelancer faced a 280-mile journey to Glyndebourne, East Sussex, from Ceredigion.

The opera house chartered a helicopter, which landed with just minutes to spare for the production of Ethel Smyth's The Wreckers.

Adam, had rehearsed in April for the production at Glyndebourne Festival 2022.

But with Rodrigo Porras Garulo playing the role of Marc, he never expected to get the call .

But then came an urgent message from Glyndebourne asking if he could ‘drop everything and get on my way’.

With the railways out of action due to strike action, he drove to Bristol when the opera house called back to say a helicopter would be waiting for him in Bath.

"I've never been in a helicopter before," he said.

"I was just trying to keep calm and chilled rather than getting worked up because being stressed makes [singing] harder."

He said the first act was already under way, with Rodrigo doing his best to sing, when he arrived.

"It was a very bizarre... with my bag running over a field. A bit like Tom Cruise... but actually more like Mr Bean.

"Considering the situation and I happy with how it went."

"It was one of those evenings," said Glyndebourne's artistic director Stephen Langridge.

"Talk about the show must go on."

He said operas normally have just one understudy, but with Covid infections still around and the fact The Wreckers is known to very few singers, he decided to get the "extra insurance".

"We were all over Google Maps wondering when he would arrive," Mr Langridge said.

"When it was clear he wouldn't make it we chartered the helicopter to pick him up.

"He said the rail strike meant many audience members had spent hours driving to the show, so cancelling was "not an option".

"So nobody questioned [the helicopter charter], nobody got out their calculators, we said 'we just have to do it'.

"If they made a movie, they'd have to call it Topgun Tenor."