Welsh soprano Gwawr Edwards was born in Aberystwyth and studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, The Conservatorio Statale di Musica ‘Giuseppe Verdi’ in Turin as an Erasmus exchange student 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.
In 2010, Gwawr was a finalist in 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.
Gwawr’s debut album was released in 2010 on the SAIN label, and featured Bryn Terfel as a guest artist in a duet. She also recorded a duet with Bryn on his Christmas album in 2010 on the Deutsche Grammophon label. She has been a soloist on BBC Radio 2’s ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ with the BBC Concert Orchestra and has made numerous appearances on Welsh Television.
Gwawr was a member of the Chorus of Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2010 and 2011. Whilst there she sang the Third Apparition in Macbeth, Euridice in La descente d’Orphée aux enfers and understudied Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Donna in Rinaldo. She also understudied Virtu in 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 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Frasquita in Carmen, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Titania in 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 Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St John’s Passion and Haydn’s Creation. She has performed as a soloist in venues across the UK including The Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, The Wales Millennium Centre, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wembley Stadium and at Highgrove for the Prince of Wales’ Trust Appeal. In 2009 she toured with the choir ‘Only Men Aloud’ on their UK Christmas Tour. Further afield, she has performed at concerts and festivals in America, Hong Kong, Patagonia and on three separate occasions in Beijing to celebrate St David’s Day.
Recently, Gwawr 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.