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RHYS MEIRION is considered by many to be Wales' leading tenor. Born within a few miles of his great friend Bryn Terfel, and sharing much the same cultural upbringing, the two recorded last year's duet album, Benedictus, to great critical acclaim and plan to renew their partnership when they appear together in a new production of Falstaff for the Welsh National Opera with Rhys singing the part of Fenton to Bryn's title role. Born in Wales, Rhys Meirion graduated as a Bachelor of Education and worked as a head-teacher before beginning his training as a singer. From 1997 to 1999 he was a member of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After attending the post graduate opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London for two years, Rhys joined the English National Opera Jerwood Young Singers Programme in 1999 and was subsequently a Company Principal from 2001 to 2004. His roles included Rodolfo in La Boheme, 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, the title role in Ernani, Sailor in Tristan und Isolde, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, Froh in Das Rheingold, Zinovy in Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk and most recently Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly. In 2002 Rhys made his Australian debut as Rodolfo in La Boheme for West Australian Opera and his European debut as Rodolfo for Staedtische Buehnen, Frankfurt-am-Main. Elsewhere he has sung the title role in Gounod's Faust with the Hong Kong Opera Society, Rodolfo in La Boheme for Opera Australia and Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly for The Lithuanian National Opera. Concert highlights include a gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London with Bryn Terfel, his BBC Prom debut at the opening night of the 2001 BBC Proms, televised on BBC 2, Desert Island Discs Anniversary Concert at Royal Festival Hall, London, a live BBC recording of Beethoven's 9th Symphony conducted by Richard Hickox and Verdi's 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 and often appears as guest soloist in opera galas with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Television appearances include Handel's Messiah, broadcast on Channel 4 Wales. His latest album, 'Celticae', was released in August 2007.