Rhys Meirion was born in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, and is a Welsh opera and concert singer.
He worked as a primary school headteacher at Ysgol Pentrecelyn near Ruthin before leaving in 1997 to study opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He is one of 'The Three Welsh Tenors' and his album with Bryn Terfel, "Benedictus", was nominated for a Classical Brit Award in 2006. He has sung the part of Rodolfo with Frankfurt Opera, West Australian Opera and at Opera Australia, and the title role in Gounod's Faust at the Hong Kong Opera Society.
He joined English National Opera in 1999 and later became Company Principal from 2001 to 2004. There he sang most of the leading tenor roles including Rodolfo in La Boheme and Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly. He also played the role of Alfredo in La Traviata, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, Nadir in The Pearl Fishers, Marcello in Leoncavallo's La Boheme, Duke in Rigoletto, Tebaldo in Capuletti e Montecchi, Tamino in The Magic Flute, title role in Ernani, Sailor in Tristan und Isolde, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, Froh in Das Rheingold and Zinovy in Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk.
Meirion was brought up at Tremadog in Gwynedd. He graduated as a Bachelor of Education from Trinity College, Carmarthen and worked as head-teacher at Ysgol Pentrecelyn, Rhuthun. All this before he began his training as a professional singer. From 1997 to 1999 he was a member of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and pursued studies with Gerald Moore.
In 1999, Meirion joined the English National Opera, Jerwood Young Singers Programme and subsequently was a Company Principal from 2001 - 2004. His roles included Rodolfo La Boheme, Alfredo La Traviata, Nemorino L'Elisir d'Amore, Nadir The Pearl Fishers, Marcello in Leoncavallo's La Boheme, Duke Rigoletto, Tebaldo Capuletti e Montecchi, Tamino The Magic Flute, title role in Ernani, Sailor Tristan und Isolde, Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi, Italian Singer Der Rosenkavalier, Froh Das Rheingold, and Zinovy Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk.
In 2002, Meirion made his Australian debut as Rodolfo La Boheme for West Australian Opera, and his European debut as Rodolfo for Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt-am-Main. In 2004 he sang the title role in Gounod's Faust with the Hong Kong Opera Society.
Concert highlights include his BBC Prom debut at the opening night of the 2001 BBC Proms, televised on BBC 2, gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London with Bryn Terfel, Desert Island Discs Anniversary Concert at Royal Festival Hall, London, live BBC recording of Beethoven's 9th Symphony conducted by Richard Hickox, and the Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Rhys has appeared at the Henley Festival, Cheltenham Festival, North Wales Festival, Swansea Festival and in concerts in Barbados, Toronto, Ottawa and Florida.
He is also a member of "The Welsh Three Tenors".
Meirion and Shân Cothi are among guests on the forthcoming Beneath the Waves by Kompendium, a project led by Rob Reed, keyboardist in progressive rock band Magenta.
He currently lives in the village of Pwllglas near Ruthin. He is married to Nia. They have three children, the eldest of whom is called Osian, the middle child is called Élan an the Youngest is called Erin
Meirion has released three successful solo CD recordings with SAIN Records, and one on the Australian label, Stanza AV. His duet album with close friend Bryn Terfel, with Catrin Finch on the harp and Annette Bryn Parry on the piano, is one of SAIN's best selling recordings.
Gŵyl Gobaith Music Festival:
Gŵyl Gobaith Music Festival is a three-day event inspired by Meirion and supported by a dedicated committee and volunteers. It was conceived with the sole purpose of promoting music within Flintshire's community and beyond whilst raising sufficient funds for local charities. Three years later on it is now a major national musical festival attracting international artists and festival goers from across the UK.
In August 2012, Hayley Westenra, Shân Cothi plus a trio of Phantoms of the Opera and a Live Aid-style line-up will headline this year's Gwyl Gobaith Music Festival.