Gwyn Hughes Jones
"...he hits the notes with a ping and ease that few tenors in this production's history have managed..."
"Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones sings with an Italianate fluidity that Wagner wrote into the score – turns and trills that defeat most Heldentenors."
"Manrico is thrillingly sung by Gwyn Hughes Jones. The part’s strenuous demands are met with fervour."
"Walther’s romantic lyricism, sung with such luscious Italianate ardour by Gwyn Hughes Jones..."
"Tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones's Cavaradossi had real fire in his belly and in his tone ... there was a ringing conviction to his delivery of all the big arias..."
Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones has sung leading roles at many of the world’s major opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, and Opéra national de Paris.
In the 2023/24 season he sings the title role of Peter Grimes for English National Opera, the title role of Otello for Poznań Opera House, Manrico Il Trovatore for Staatsoper Hamburg. On the concert platform he sings Verdi’s Requiem with the Liverpool Welsh Choral, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Israel Philharmonic.
His operatic highlights include Tristan Tristan und Isolde (Grange Park Opera), title role Otello (Grange Park Opera); title role Andrea Chénier (Chelsea Opera Group); Radames Aida (English National Opera and Irish National Opera); Walther von Stolzing Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Royal Opera House); Calaf Turandot (Opéra national de Paris, English National Opera); Cavaradossi Tosca (Royal Opera House, Trondheim Symfoniorkester, English National Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera); Pinkerton Madama Butterfly (Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, English National Opera, Festival Lírico Internacional de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, Welsh National Opera); Rodolfo La bohème (San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and English National Opera); Don José Carmen (Norwegian National Opera and Welsh National Opera); Ismaele Nabucco (Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opéra national de Paris); Chevalier des Grieux Manon Lescaut (Savonlinna Festival and Welsh National Opera); Manrico Il trovatore (Washington National Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Welsh National Opera); Fenton Falstaff (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels); Camille de Rossillon Die Lustige Witwe (Opéra national de Paris); Macduff Macbeth (Royal Opera House); and Riccardo Un ballo in maschera, Canio Pagliacci, Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana, Duca Rigoletto and the title role of Gounod’s Faust (all for Welsh National Opera).
Jones has appeared with orchestras including the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Trondheim Symfoniorkester, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2011 he took part in opera galas in Sweden to mark the 100th anniversary of Jussi Bjorling’s birth. His extensive concert repertoire includes Verdi’s Requiem and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
Also an accomplished recitalist, he recorded the first ever televised recital from the Wigmore Hall, and has appeared in recital at the St. Olaf Festival in Trondheim, Musashino Civic Cultural Hall in Tokyo, Purcell Room, London and the Auditorium du Louvre, Paris. His recordings include Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth (Chandos).
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Title Role, Peter Grimes
English National Opera, September 2023
“This was an astonishingly assured role debut from Gwyn Hughes Jones in the title role.”
musicOMH, Keith McDonnell
“Tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones excelled as Grimes. He’s a shambling mountain of a man, so unkempt and unwashed you can almost smell the fish on him. He sang with a pained beauty throughout, a man tortured by the knowledge that he will never achieve his ambitions. He found just the right level of ambiguity that Britten intended. Is he a monster or a misfit? We swung constantly between disgust and sympathy, right to the final curtain.”
Bachtrack, Stephen Pritchard ★★★★
“At the mercy of this clutch of manic eccentrics is Grimes himself, portrayed by Gwyn Hughes Jones as an agonised figure unable to cope with demands of his life, his voice touching, heartfelt and faltering with emotion, his apprentice (Rudy Williams) disturbed and withdrawn.”
The Telegraph, Nicholas Kenyon ★★★★★
“As Grimes, Jones is a formidable actor, ranging from cruel and paranoid to anguished and dreamy. He even looks the part, with baggy, rough clothes and unkempt hair.”
The Stage, Inge Kjemtrup ★★★
Tristan, Tristan und Isolde
Grange Park Opera, June 2023
Gwyn Hughes Jones, singing with stamina and a clear, true musicianship.
Financial Times. Richard Fairman ★★★★
Gwyn Hughes Jones' Tristan was very assured. His stage assurance is commanding, and his range of emotion from disdain to tenderness reflected in use of vocal colour. He rose superbly to the long monologues of Act 3, and was moving in his realisation of how his past has led him to such despair.
Bachtrack, Roy Westbrook ★★★★
Gwyn Hughes Jones is tremendous as the heart-rending hero.
The Times, Neil Fisher ★★★
Royal Opera House Covent Garden, December 2022
[...] well matched by Gwyn Hughes Jones as Cavaradossi [...] the Welsh tenor has evolved into one of the UK’s most eloquent and robust tenors. The applause on opening night for his "Recondita armonia" and "E lucevan le stelle" deservedly shook the rafters, although it was his defiant cry of "Vittoria!" in Act 2 that made me want to leap out of my seat. Hughes Jones is a massive homegrown talent, and it’s time we celebrated him.
Mark Valencia, Bachtrack ★★★★
The renowned Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones portrays Cavaradossi convincingly. His acting skills are greatly enhanced by a voice of adamantine brilliance, the thrilling timbre of his top notes rising high above the orchestra to the furthest reaches of the auditorium. His splendidly sung clutch of arias was crowned in the third act by a rapturously received account of ‘E lucevan le stelle’.
Christopher Sallon, Seen and Heard International
Il Trovatore, Manrico
Washington National Opera, October 2022
Gwyn Hughes Jones gave a brilliant turn as the doomed Manrico, his steely tenor a perfect match [...] Jones’s Manrico was also sensational. His third-act aria (“Ah, si ben mio. Di quella pira!”) was a highlight of the evening. (He even sounded great from offstage, enraging the count with his pesky troubadour-ing.) [...] his voice strikingly precise, his control a reflection of Manrico’s relentless valiance.
Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post
Otello, Title Role
Grange Park Opera, June 2022
Jones makes his own mark as Otello with his tenor’s penetrating force.
Geoff Brown, The Times ****
As Otello, Hughes Jones gives a full-bodied characterisation of a descent into madness.
Inge Kjemtrup, The Stage ****
Gwyn Hughes Jones rises to Otello’s heights with power and intensity
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times ****
As Otello, Hughes Jones commanded a plump, fruity and glossy tone that suited his passages of tenderness [...] his farewell sequences – “Or e per sempre addio” – soared and touched. And his final “Un bacio ancora” confirmed that this voice can attain a tragic tenderness.
Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk
At Grange Park, Gwyn Hughes Jones produced a noble Otello...
Mark Ronan, The Article
Andrea Chénier, Title Role
Chelsea Opera Group, Queen Elizabeth Hall, May 2022
Hughes Jones is arguably the most Italianate of British […] he has worked his way up from much lighter roles, acquiring a rock-solid technique and a slightly gnarly timbre that recalls the late Giuseppe Giacomini […] Above all, he has absorbed the vocal style of a native Italian tenor, and he sings the Italian text both beautifully and expressively, so that his incisively declaimed and idiomatically sung solos-the Act 1 'Improvviso' at the Di Coigny residence, 'Si, fui soldato' in the Tribunal Scene, and Act 4's 'Come un bel di di maggio
Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine
As Chénier, Gwyn Hughes Jones impressed with a strong, ringing, ardent tenor. [...] He has a heroic voice which suits this music well, as his ardent ‘Un dì all’azzurro spazio’ revealed.
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International
To bring Andrea Chénier convincingly ‘to life’ requires a big, outgoing personality. Step forward Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones whose voice is powered by inner strength and colour, not simply by weight and heft, and who consequently was able to embody the French revolutionary poet’s ardour, self-belief and stamina with relaxed poise. It’s one verismo peak after another for the singer in the title role, and Jones assailed them all with thrilling panache, riding the crests with a dramatically fitting fearlessness. He shaped the slightly breathy, angry exhortations of Act 1’s pontification on love, art and beauty, ‘Un dì all’azzurro spazio’, with a belying lyricism. [...] There was a brilliant ping to his ringing high notes throughout – and no sign that they would ever flag or sag.
Claire Seymour, Opera Today
Scottish Opera, October 2019
As Cavaradossi, Hughes Jones came into his own in the final act, his farewell impassioned and noble.
Rowena Smith, The Guardian, 17 October 2019
Gwyn Hughes Jones’ Cavaradossi is quite the rebel and the romantic. His impetuous running off with the escaped prisoner Angelotti in Act I feels less an act of folly, as it can do, but quite consistent with his utterly glorious Act III aria, as he loses all composure while attempting to write his final letter to Tosca.
Thom Dibdin, The Stage, 17 October 2019
As Cavaradossi, Gwyn Hughes Jones’s tenor is light rather than powerful, but he hits the notes with a ping and ease that few tenors in this production’s history have managed, and he’s fantastic in the love duets.
Simon Thomson, The Times, 17 October 2019
Gwyn Hughes Jones’ Cavaradossi is exhilarating vocally, evocative of the character’s vying sensitivities.
Ken Walton, The Scotsman, 18 October 2019
Cavaradossi is given great, tragic voice by superb Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones, not least in the despairing aria of the condemned man in Act 3. It is a performance that is entirely worthy of its ultimate, Goya-esque imagery.
Mark Brown, The Herald, 20 October 2019
Welsh National Opera, June 2019
...Beethoven’s political prisoner, Florestan, the impassioned Gwyn Hughes Jones.
Rian Evans, The Guardian, 16 June 2019
Riccardo, Un ballo in maschera
Welsh National Opera, February 2019
Jones, whose voice seems to gain new layers of beauty and power every time I hear him, has never sounded more resplendent than here as the Governor, Riccardo
Mark Valencia, Bachtrack, 11 February 2019
tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones and soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams reinforce the successful pairing of last year’s La Forza del Destino, their singing as distinguished as it is moving... Hughes Jones is in excellent voice throughout as Riccardo
Rian Evans, The Guardian, 10 February 2019
Sung with sterling authority by Gwyn Hughes Jones
George Hall, Financial Times, 11 February 2019
Gwyn Hughes Jones’ Riccardo is generously voiced
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 10 February 2019
Audiences have been able to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful voice of Gwyn Hughes Jones at the Welsh National Opera, where he began his career, since 1995. The lead male role, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera is a big one. From the outset, Jones gives us a wonderful, big performance... He expresses his delight in his opening aria and his ringing tenor voice wraps itself around the large Donald Gordon auditorium and our spines start to tingle.
Michael Kelligan, Theatre in Wales, 9 February 2019
She never puts a foot wrong; this is wonderful Verdi singing. The Riccardo, Gwyn Hughes Jones, is likewise completely on top of his more vivid part
Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk, 11 February 2019
In his performance as Riccardo, Gwyn Hughes Jones united the disparate ideas of the pleasure-loving, theatrical, rather skittish ruler suddenly and seriously in love. Hughes Jones sang with an admirable sense of line and superb focus, and brought out the seriousness which underlay this rather frivolous man. You never doubted Riccardo's love for Amelia, and Hughes Jones duet with Mary Elizabeth Williams was one of the highlights of the evening. Without the need to have a stagey, long drawn-own dying, Hughes Jones was able to make Riccardo's final farewell rather noble and touching.
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 10 February 2019
Mary Elizabeth Williams and Gwyn Hughes Jones appeared in Forza, and up their game as Riccardo and Amelia. Their love duet, lit by pure white, is beautifully judged
Rebecca Franks, The Times, 12 February 2019
English National Opera, September 2017
Hughes Jones makes a strong Radamès. There was some finely shaded singing in his duets with Moore, and a real edge of defiance in his confrontation with DeYoung
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, September 2017
Her Radamès was ENO stalwart Gwyn Hughes Jones in vibrant voice. “Celeste Aida” was sung ardently with a lovely diminuendo at the end, while his tone in the tomb was beautifully sweet.
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, September 2017
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