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Wynne Evans

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Famed for his "love it or hate it" appearance in the advertising campaign for a U.K. insurance comparison website, classically trained tenor Wynne Evans is also one of Wales' most successful opera singers. Born in Carmarthen, South Wales in 1972, Evans first developed a love of classical music through his amateur dramatics performing parents, and in particular his mother, who founded her own successful youth opera school. After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio, he sang at the 2001 Last Night of the Proms and appeared in productions of Salome, Die Zauberflote, and La Traviata for both the Welsh and English National Opera. In 2004, he gained recognition in his homeland after singing "Cwm Rhondda" as a response to New Zealand's famous Haka before an international rugby match between the two countries, which resulted in him singing the National Anthem at over 30 Wales games, and the 2007 fight between Joe Calzaghe and Peter Manfredo at the Millennium Stadium. After appearing on three volumes of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's compilation series Here Come the Classics, he got his big break when he landed the role of Gio Compario, a tubby opera-singing character in a divisive TV advert for, which spawned a Facebook hate campaign due to its irritating jingle. However, Evans' increasingly high profile earned him a DJ slot with his brother Mark on BBC Wales, and in 2010 he signed a six-album deal with Sony Records. His debut, A Song in My Heart, was released a year later, at the same time he starred in the controversial opera Anna Nicole. ~ Jon O'Brien

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January 27, 1972 in Carmarthen, South Wales

Years Active:

'90s, '00s, '10s