Tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones is from Anglesey, and is as popular in the United States as he is in Britain. He was originally a baritone when he attended the Guildhall School of Music. In 1992 he won the Kathleen Ferrier scholarship in that voice. It then became clear that his true voice was that of a tenor, and by 1994 he started winning tenor prizes at competitions and was a finalist for the Cardiff Young Singers.
Since then he has appeared on nearly every significant operatic venue throughout the world and is known for the strength and sweetness of his voice, in romantic and heroic roles. In common with other Welsh-speaking opera stars such as Bryn Terfel and Gwynne Howell, he is also known for his fine diction.
Gwyn has selected a special programme of Italian songs for his evening at Rhosygilwen on the 12th July. They include the work of the every popular composers such as Verdi, Tosti, Puccini and Bellini and the lesser known songs of Cilea (E La solita storia del Pastoria) and Liszt (Tre sonetti di Petrarca).
He made his professional operatic debut in 1995 with Welsh National Opera as Ismaele in Nabucco conducted by Carlo Rizzi. Among the roles he has sung for the company are Manrico in Il Trovatore, Duke inRigoletto, Rodolfo in La Boheme, the title role in Gounod’s Faust, Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Don José in Carmen and Nemorino in L'Elisir D’amore.
Gwyn made his European debut as Ismaele in Nabucco with Opera National de Paris and subsequently sang Camille de Rossillon in Die Lustige Witwe for the company. Other appearances in Europe include the title role in Werther for Opera National de Lyon conducted by Christian Badea, Fenton in Falstaff for La Monnaie, Brussels conducted by Antonio Pappano, Rodolfo in La Boheme and Don José in Carmen for Norwegian National Opera and at the Music Theatre Trondheim and Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly at the Festival Lírico Internacional de San Lorenzo de El Escorial in Spain.
In 2001 Gwyn made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York singing Ismaele in Nabucco, a role he has revived twice for the company. The production, conducted by James Levine was released on DVD in 2005. Gwyn has also sung Fenton in Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly and Rodolfo in La Boheme for the Lyric Opera of Chicago andErnesto in Don Pasquale for Florida Grand Opera.
The evening starts early at 6.00 pm with a 90 minute interval for picnics in the gorgeous grounds of Rhosygilwen, an annual event popular with summer opera goers. Those who prefer to have supper in the Orangery can do so by calling 01239841387. Tickets can be booked on line on Rhosygilwen.co.uk