Welsh Soprano, Gwawr Edwards is one of Wales leading talents. She is in constant demand in the UK, and further afield
Gwawr was born into a farming family in Ceredigion, West Wales, and culturally was nurtured in the rich Eisteddfod tradition giving her a solid foundation for her future career. Music is truly in the Edwards family blood. Gwawr was thrown into the performing world, accompanying her father who was a tenor and her sister who is a pianist in concerts on regular occasions. At the age of eleven, Gwawr took part in her first concert tour of America. She has since returned on numerous other occasions touring the States, as well as travelled to Asia, Europe and South America.
Gwawr studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff where she gained an entrance scholarship. She also studied at The Conservatorio Statale di Musica ‘Giuseppe Verdi’ in Turin, on an Erasmus Exchange, and subsequently at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she gained a first class Masters degree, under the tuition of Yvonne Kenny.
Gwawr has released two albums, ‘Gwawr Edwards’ and 'Alleluia' featuring Only Men Aloud, Rhys Taylor's dixieland jazz band, mezzo-soprano Caryl Hughes, and Cor Ieienctyd Mon. Her first, released in 2010 featured the bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and harpist Catrin Finch. She also sang a duet with Bryn Terfel on his Christmas album on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Both her solo albums were released on the record label SAIN.
She has toured the UK with Bryn Terfel performing at Birmingham Symphony hall, London festival hall, Manchester Bridgewater hall, and Cardiff St David's hall accompanied by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gwawr is a regular presenter on BBC Radio Cymru where she has her own show, called 'Gwawr Gerddorol' and on S4C where she has presented ‘Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol’ a Welsh version of Songs of Praise, ‘Difas yr Eisteddfod’ a documentary on Welsh Divas, and her own documentary called 'Gwawr Edwards yn Ohio'.
She has also been a soloist on BBC Radio 2’s ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ on numerous occasions accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Other noted venues in which she has performed, include The Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Royal Concert Hall Glasgow ,Wembley Stadium and Highgrove for the Prince of Wales’ Trust Appeal.
Gwawr was a soloist at the Royal Launch For UK’s South Hook LNG Terminal (2) where she sang for Queen Elizabeth the second, and the King of Quatar and also toured with the choir ‘Only Men Aloud’ on their 2009 UK Christmas Tour.
Gwawr was a finalist for the BBC Radio 2’s Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Prize – a search for an ‘opera star of the future.’ She has won all the major awards and competitions in Wales including the prestigious Towyn Roberts Scholarship, the Osborne Roberts Scholarship, Llangollen International Eisteddfod, Lampeter Eisteddfod Blue Riband and the Violet Mary Davies award for most promising soprano at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. She is also a recipient of the Elizabeth Evans Trust, a Samling Artist and a patron of Age Cymru.
Gwawr has recently played the character Mair in a world premiere of a new opera written in Welsh by the composer Gareth Glyn and librettist Mererid Hopwood called ‘Wythnos yng Nghymru fydd’ for Opra Cymru, who won the award for best production in the Welsh language.
Other operatic performances include Paquette in Bernstein's Candide for Opera de Lorraine in Nancy. Rossina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Cymru. Melpomene in Gluck's Il Parnaso confuso premier for Bampton Opera. Euridice in Charpentier's La descente d'Orphée aux Enfers, Third Apparition in Macbeth, understudied Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Donna in Handel's Rinaldo for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and understudied Virtu in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. Roles performed during opera ensemble scenes at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama include Tytania in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen, Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Titania in Purcel's The Fairy Queen. Roles whilst at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama included Alice in Alice in Wonderland and the understudy of Dido in Dido and Aeneas.
Her Oratorio repertoire includes Faure's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Bach's St John's Passion, Mozart's requiem and Haydn’s Creation.