Dame Gwyneth Jones, DBE,
born 1936, is one of the greatest sopranos of our age. She performed for
the first time as a professional soloist in Zurich in 1962. After her
great success at Covent Garden in 1964 in the part of Trovatore's
"Leonora" she had her final breakthrough in 1965 with her
performance in Wagner's "Walküre".
then she has made her appearance in all the great opera houses in the world as a
Wagner singer and in roles like "Madame
Butterfly", "Aida", "Desdemona" or the Princess in
Sir Geraint Evans, CBE, one of Britain's leading operatic baritones, was born 1922 as son of a coal miner. He won a gold medal in a singing competition at the early age of four. In 1948 he joined the opera company at London's Covent Garden, He made his debut in "Die Meistersinger", then performed in the role of Figaro, Falstaff (his signature role), Papageno etc.
He sang in nearly all the great opera houses of the world: Milan, Salzburg, New York etc. He was knighted in 1969.
is at the moment the most popular bass-baritone in the world. He has even
been referred to as the bass-baritone of the 21st
century. This tall man (1,92 m) was
born in 1965 as son of a North Wales farmer. As a boy he was an extremely
good athlete and sang in choirs. He took part in many eisteddfods
(regional and national) and won several prizes in these.
1988 he won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship and in 1989 the "Lieder
Prize" in the Cardiff "Singer
of the year" competition. In 1992 he won the titles "Young
Singer of the Year" and in 1993 "Newcomer
of the Year".
his operatic roles were Figaro, Don Giovanni and
Jokanaan in Richard
Strauss's "Salome". He has
sung roles in Strauss's "Die Frau
ohne Schatten" and in works by Richard Wagner and others. He is well
known for lieder and songs (Franz Schubert, Kindertotenlieder
by Gustav Mahler…) and for choral works (Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, John
his great stature he is very imposing on stage. He has a charismatic personality
and is so full of energy that he is able to captivate the audience by his
fantastic performance. "His ability as a dramatic actor, coupled with a virtuosic command
over his dark, resonant voice, made him one of the most highly sought-after of
modern singers" (Britannica).
The recording "Something Wonderful", with music of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (1997) was a huge success. "With a rich, warm, vibrant voice that was capable of expressive pianissimos as well as roaring fortissimos, he continued to stand out in the world of classical singing." (Britannica)
the last years Terfel has become so popular that the papers even talked of "Terfelmania"
spreading across the continents as far as Australia and the USA.
His favourite town from a musical point of view is Salzburg. It is amazing that Terfel is able to sing in German and also in Italian without a recognizable foreign accent.
from the singers mentioned above,
others such Margaret Price, Helen Watts,
Steward Borrows and Patricia
Kearn have made Welsh opera voices famed throughout the world.
Jones: His career
began at a very young age at local eisteddfods and concerts. At the Urdd
Eisteddfod in 1982, he won the solo and the Cerdd Dant solo competitions for
competitors under 12. From 1980 he sang in the choir of Bangor Cathedral. 1985
he performed in front of the Queen, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with
Dame John Sutherland and with Leonard Bernstein. Several of his 16 recordings
went Gold and Platinum.
youngest great singing talent is 13-year-old
Although so young, she already has the mature voice of a grown-up opera
diva. She first presented her wonderful voice – "The
Voice of an Angel" to the public on a TV show when she performed
Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie
Jesu". There she was discovered by the Sony Music UK chairman
who signed her on at once.
there on her career went straight up: She performed in many TV shows. Moreover
she sang for personalities as important as the Pope and Prince Charles.
repertoire ranges from classical songs such as "Ave
Maria" to Welsh folk songs. The success of her debut album "Voice of an Angel" shows how famous she really is and how
her voice impresses her audience. With "Voice of an Angel" Charlotte
became the youngest ever musician to reach no. 1 in the classical charts and so
many copies of this album were sold in the USA that she received a gold disc for
Michael Wilson is a 15-year-old violinist, who was already impressing his audiences at the age of 7. In 1996 he began to study with Ruggerio Ricci, who described him as one of the most talented young musicians he had met in the last 40 years. Soon after he went to the Mozarteum in Salzburg and from there to the Academy of Music in Vienne. Gerhard Schulz is his tutor.
Information from Encarta; http://www.anaserve.com/~parterre/jonesbio.htm?140,128
 Information from: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, Britannica, Encarta 2000
 Information from Britannica, a TV portrait in ARTE, record covers, Western Mail, St. David's Day 1999, http://die.soundcity.de/terfel/timeline.html
 cf. record covers; listen to recording on the enclosed CD
 cf. http://www.charlottechurch.com/bio.html ; http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/stage/6542/bio.html ; cf. recording on the enclosed CD
 cf. Western Mail, 08-05-1999