Guest Biographies for our Annual Concert 2010
Mission Photographic ©
John Owen-Jones is from Burry Port in South Wales. After training at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, he became the youngest actor to ever play the role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables at the age of twenty six.
John spent four years playing The Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London production of The Phantom of the Opera. With nearly 1500 performances in the role, this makes him the West End’s longest running Phantom. The Daily Mail described John as being “better than all the talented actors who preceded him in the role.”
John returned to play the role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables for its 21st anniversary year. During this time he also appeared as Jean Valjean in a specially commissioned concert version of Les Miserables which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2. In a worldwide online poll, John was voted the “Best Ever Valjean” and “Best Ever Performer” in Les Miserables by fans of the show. John is one of only a handful of actors to have played the role of Valjean both in the West End and on Broadway following the revival of Les Miserables at the Broadhurst Theatre, New York in 2008.
Other roles include Ravenal in Raymond Gubbay’s production of Showboat at the Royal Albert Hall, Cleante in Moliere’s The Hypochondriac at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Mr Elanson in A Little Night Music at the Royal National Theatre.
He has performed as a soloist in concerts across the world from Bangkok to the Bryn Terfel Festival in North Wales. John has been a presenter for BBC Radio Wales and has made numerous appearances on television, the most recent being the Shan Cothi show for S4C.John’s first solo recording ‘Hallelujah’, was released in 2006.
Recent engagements include
Jean Valjean in a worldwide tour of Les Miserables, which opened at the Wales Millennium Centre in December 2009. He also recently released a solo album to coincide with the tour. John was also soloist in a special ‘Wales at the West End‘ concert at this year’s National Eisteddfod of Wales.
London-based pianist Jocelyn Freeman is rapidly emerging as one of Wales’ foremost young instrumentalists. As a soloist she has recently performed Mozart’s Concerto No. 20 with Cardiff Sinfonietta, and given recitals in St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Wales Millennium Centre and broadcast live on BBC television. Competition successes have included Gold at the Marlow International Concerto Competition, and the Blue Rhiband at Wales’ National Eisteddfod. As an accompanist she has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Bristol’s Colston Hall, and been a prize-winner in the Chelsea Schubert Festival Song Competition, the Scott Huxley Prize and the Brenda Webb Award.
Since 2004 Jocelyn has studied at the Royal Academy of Music and still holds the Marylebone Association Scholarship. She is mentored by Pascal Nemirovski and Michael Dussek, and has also worked closely with Christopher Elton, Martin Roscoe and Hilary Coates. Future plans include performances around Britain and Europe, as both soloist and chamber musician, and recording her debut CD with Kissan Records for release in summer 2010.
Jocelyn is very grateful for the support of the Richard Carne Trust, the EMI Sound Foundation, the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, the Seary Charitable Trust and the Ryan Davies Memorial Fund.
For more information and details of future concerts please visit www.jocelynfreeman.co.uk
Some YouTube videos of Jocelyn from her web site, where even more can be found:
Mark Lewis Jones
Mark Lewis Jones was born in Rhosllannerchrugog in 1964. He began acting as a teenager with the Clwyd Youth Theatre and trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. He has acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.
Mark has made notable appearances in a number of television productions including This Life, Holby City, Spooks, Murphy's Law, Waking the Dead, Torchwood and The Commander. Perhaps his most significant role for BBC television, however, has been as Detective Inspector Russell Bing in the police drama 55 Degrees North.
Mark has made numerous appearances in productions for Welsh film and television. He played the part of Ieuan in Heartlands which starred Anthony Hopkins (1988) , Guto in Angry Earth(1988), and Crad Rees in the Oscar nominated Solomon and Gaenor (1999). In 2006 he played the part of Irfon in Compassionate and Josi Evans, a farmer in Calon Gaeth.
Most recently Mark played a lead role as Dad in BBC Wales’ A Childs Christmasses in Wales (2009) and plays the role of Thomas Longstride in the 2010 film version of Robin Hood.
Mark remains extremely active in his field and has just completed filming of two episodes of Silent witness and Being Human. He has also recently filmed three one hour episodes of The Fabulous Baker Boys for BBC Wales.