Dame Gwyneth Jones DBE (born 7 November 1936, Pontnewynydd, Wales, UK) is a Welsh soprano. Before becoming a professional singer, Dame Gwyneth worked as a secretary at the Pontypool foundry. She studied music at the Royal College of Music, London, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena as well as the International Opera Studio in Zürich. After making her professional debut in 1962 as a mezzo-soprano in Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice, she was engaged by the Zurich Opera House. She soon discovered that her easy top range could enable her to sing soprano roles and she switched to the soprano repertoire from around 1964, her first major soprano role being Amelia in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera. Dame Gwyneth's large-scaled, powerful dramatic soprano voice, unusually robust vocal stamina, stage presence and acting abilities were widely admired, although she also faced criticism for the wobble that her voice developed in the 1970s and which afflicted some of her performances. Nonetheless, she could still be remarkably secure and tonally rock steady beyond the age of 60. One of her most noted achievements was her interpretation of Brünnhilde in the Bayreuth centennial production of Der Ring des Nibelungen under Pierre Boulez and directed by Patrice Chéreau, a performance preserved on both video and audio discs. The recording won a Grammy in 1983. In 2003 Dame Gwyneth made her debut as director and costume designer in a stage production of Der fliegende Holländer in Weimar, Germany. She has also given master-classes for young singers and acted as an adjudicator in international vocal competitions, including the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Despite her advancing years and the extraordinary demands of her chosen repertoire, she remains an active performer on the stage, taking on various soprano, mezzo-soprano and even contralto roles with vocal authority and dramatic conviction. In June 2007, she created the role of the Queen of Hearts in the world premiere of Unsuk Chin's new opera, Alice in Wonderland, at the Bavarian State Opera. In February 2008 she sang the part of Herodias in Stephen Langridge's production of Richard Strauss' Salome at Malmö Opera in Sweden. She repeated this role in August 2010, alongside the Salome of Deborah Voigt, in a concert performance at the Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland, and performed the part on stage at the Vienna State Opera in May 2012. She is also the recipient of numerous musical/cultural awards and honours from many different countries and organisations, including the Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Golden Medal of Honour in Vienna, the Austrian Cross of Honour First Class, the Shakespeare Prize and the Puccini Award. She is a Kammersängerin at both the Vienna State Opera and the Bavarian State Opera and she has been made a Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. She has also been conferred honorary doctorates by the University of Wales and the University of Glamorgan. She is currently the President of the Wagner Society of Great Britain...
Lyrics & English Translation
Light is languishing, the beacon that eternally
Moves in the vast heavens is dying away!
O desired night, you providentially veil
The guilty hand which is going to strike the blow...
New crime! It is necessary!
The fatal deed must be done.
The dead do not care to reign;
Let them rest in eternal peace!
Oh voluptuous pleasure of the throne!
Oh scepter, finally you are mine!
Every mortal desire
Is silenced and assuaged by you.
He who was predicted king
Will soon fall lifeless...
A link to this wonderful artists personal website:
I send my kind and warm regards,