Dame Gwyneth Jones was born in Pontnewynydd in 1936, perhaps an unlikely starting place for someone who would go no to be one of the leading interpreters of Wagner of the modern stage. In this wonderfully relaxed interview for BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs programme in 1983, Dame Gwyneth remembers her childhood growing up in Wales and talks frankly about her relationship with Wagner and with the world of opera. Roy Plomley, the original presenter of Desert Island Discs, is heard to be clearly won over by Dame Gwyneth Jones from the outset, and it is a rare glimpse into the charismatic power of a true opera diva.
As an extra, we include two German language films here about the Welsh soprano Dame Margaret Price. One is an interview on great German arts chat show Da Capo from 1996, and the other a profile. Both films make you wonder why no comparable features have been made on Price in English or Welsh.
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Mozart’s Don Giovanni combines heavenly music with subject-matter the power of which to offend has been sharpened by contemporary events. Nigel Jarrett was at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff for the revival of a production by Welsh National Opera.
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Founded in March 2012, Wales Arts Review is a media platform where a new generation of critics and arts lovers can meet to engage in a robust and inclusive discussion about books, theatre, film, music, the visual arts, politics, and the media.