After training at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, John, at the age of twenty six, became the youngest actor ever to play the role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables. He is one of a handful of actors to have played the role of Valjean both in the West End and on Broadway and is in fact the only British actor to do so. In an online poll, John was voted the “Best Ever Valjean” and “Best Ever Performer in Les Miserables" by fans of the show worldwide.
John returned to play the role of Jean Valjean in a brand new production of Les Miserables for its 25th anniversary tour and was awarded the Manchester Evening News Award for the Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his performance as Jean Valjean. The Manchester Evening News described his performance as “a truly astonishing achievement that must be one of the greatest stage performances of all time.” John was also part of the Valjean quartet featured in the finale of the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 Arena, London.
John originally played the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera between 2001 and 2004 in the West End production to great acclaim -The Daily Mail said he was "better than all the actors that preceded him in the role" He returned to the role of The Phantom in the West End in 2011 culminating in a performance as part of the Phantom quartet in a special finale at the Phantom 25th Anniversary Concert at The Royal Albert Hall. He is the West End’s longest running Phantom with nearly 2000 performances in the role. He appeared in a special finale of the show at the Majestic Theatre, New York to celebrate Phantom's 25th year on Broadway and is the first British actor to have appeared as The Phantom in Russia - in a special excerpt from the show commissioned for the 2014 Golden Masks Awards at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.
After reinterpreting the role of Valjean on the 25th Anniversary tour of Les Miserables in 2010, John was asked to reinterpret the role of The Phantom in the brand new production of The Phantom of the Opera for it's 25th anniversary UK tour in 2012. His performance on the tour earned him a nomination for Best Actor in a Visiting Production from the Manchester Theatre Awards and he is in the unique position of being the only actor to have the opportunity to reinvent Valjean and The Phantom - two of the greatest roles in musical theatre history.
John has performed extensively in theatre all over the country at prestigious venues such as The National Theatre, London and The Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London and The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds. He has appeared on television and radio in such shows as Scott and Bailey, In The Flesh, The Bill, The Royal Variety Show, Friday Night Is Music Night, Children In Need, This Morning and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. He has performed as a soloist in concerts around the world from Bangor to Bangkok.
John has released three albums. The independently released ‘Hallelujah’ (2006) and on the Sain label 'John Owen-Jones' (2009) and 'Unmasked' (2011). His latest album 'Rise' was released on March 2nd 2015.
John is originally from Burry Port in South Wales.
Training: John trained as actor at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London.
Pirelli in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (London Coliseum, English National Opera), The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary UK Tour, Jean Valjean in Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Tour, (for which he won the 2010 Manchester Evening News Award for Best Actor), The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (London) Jean Valjean in Les Miserables (London, Broadway, Paris Chatelet, London Barbican and UK tour) Ravenal in Showboat (Royal Albert Hall, London), Mr Erlanson in A Little Night Music (Royal National Theatre), Herr Zeller in The Sound of Music (West Yorkshire Playhouse) Antipholus of Ephesus/Antipholus of Syracuse (Harrogate Theatre), Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance (Regent’s Park), Mr Snow in Carousel (Royal Festival Hall, London), Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice (Harrogate Theatre), Friar Francis in Much Ado about Nothing (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Middle East Tour), Valere in Le Medecin Volant (West Yorkshire Playhouse) Cleante in Moliere’s The Hypochondriac (West Yorkshire Playhouse). John has appeared in workshops for The Ladies Paradise (RNT Studio), The Devil’s Advocate (GSA), Berlin the Musical (Bloomsbury Theatre), Sister Act the Musical (Arts Theatre) and Grand Slam the Musical (Wales Millennium Centre)
TV and Radio:
In The Flesh (BBC), The Bill, Scott and Bailey, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, The Royal Variety Show 2010 and 2011, (ITV). John has appeared numerous times as a singing guest on shows such as The Alan Titchmarsh Show and This Morning (ITV), The Elaine Paige Show (Sky TV), Songs of Praise and Children in Need (BBC). As well as appearing as a guest on many radio stations across the UK he has presented a show for BBC Radio Wales and appears regularly on Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2.
Concerts and special events:
John has appeared all over the world in concert including most recently a number of sell out solo shows in Japan. He was part of the Valjean Quartet special finale at the O2 Arena, London for the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert and was also part The Four Phantoms Special Finale at the Royal Albert Hall, London for the 25th Anniversary Concert of The Phantom of the Opera. Both shows have been screened worldwide in cinemas and on television. He also appeared as part of a special finale of Phantom in New York to celebrate the show’s 25th Anniversary performance on Broadway and appeared as The Phantom at The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as part of the show’s premiere in Russia. Other notable concert appearances include appearing as a special guest on Katherine Jenkins UK tour 2015, The Three Phantoms in Concert (UK and Scandinavian Tour), several Welsh National Eisteddfod concerts, The Faenol Festival with Michael Ball and Ruthie Henshall and the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London. As a director, John has worked on Broadway to the Bay (Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff) and A Night at the Musicals with Bryn Terfel and Maria Friedman (Royal Philharmonic Hall Liverpool).
John co-wrote and sang a track on Love on 42nd Street by Dan and Laura Curtis and was a guest artist on Surrounded by the Sounds by Tim Prottey-Jones. He has appeared on demo recordings of Three Sides, Spittin’ Distance, Berlin, Inconnu and An American Victory. He can be heard singing the role of Jean Valjean on Les Miserables: Live! (2010) and on Bring Him Home charity single by the Valjean Quartet (2010)
He has produced and released two limited edition singles: May Each Day (2012) and O Holy Night (2013), a 5-track e.p: Hallelujah (2006) and three full solo albums: John Owen-Jones (2009), Unmasked (2012) and his latest album Rise (2015). He has also released two albums in 2015 through Sony Records Japan – Rise and Music of the Night.