John directed and starred in "Broadway to the Bay" - three spectacular sold out concerts at the Wales Millennium Centre in October
2015 is the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the beautiful Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Celebrations want on for 12 months but came to a close in October with three spectacular concerts that celebrated the art form that has been most popular with audiences at the Centre: the musical. John directed these concerts which featured some of the best musical theatre performers in the UK, the 40 piece Novello Orchestra (musical direction by David Mahoney), a host of brilliant dancers (choreographed by Olivier nominee Andrew Wright) and an ensemble of over 100 people. Set design was by award winning designer Matt Kinley (designer of Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 and the Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall) with lighting design by Nigel Catmur and costume design by Jilly McKeown. John also starred in the shows alongside Ruthie Henshall, Kerry Ellis, Sophie Evans, Shan Cothi, Caroline Sheen, Lucie Jones, Russell Grant, David Thaxton, Rhydian Roberts and the Tenors of Rock. You can find out more about the Wales Millennium Centre HERE
John recently appeared in the Les Miserables 30th Birthday Gala performance in London on Oct 8th.
John was a guest in the special finale of the 30th Anniversary performance of Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre, London. He joined the 2015 cast, members of the original 1985 cast and the original creative team along with 150 children who are featured in the Welsh Language production of Les Miserables: Schools Edition in Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff. The whole performance was held in aid of Save The Children charity and raised over £100,000 on the night. You can donate to the charity here and find more details on the showhere
JOHN APPEARED AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL IN OCTOBER IN A SPECIAL CONCERT TO CELEBRATE THE 50th BIRTHDAY OF OPERA STAR BRYN TERFEL
The show, on Tuesday Oct 20th, featured a galaxy of stars who got together to perform in this exciting one off event - which was filmed by Sky Arts and was televised on November 23rd Amongst those appearing were Only Men Aloud, Alison Balsam, Catrin Finch, Hannah Stone, Rebecca Evans, Daniel Evans, Calan, Hannah Waddingham, Gareth Jones and Sinfonia Cymru, Danielle de Niese and Sting. The concert was screened on Sky Arts on November 29th
John appeared once more as The Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End.
He played the role from 7th September 2015 until Jan 30th 2016. His performance helped the show garner a 2016 Olivier Award! Amongst those joining him in the cast were Celinde Schoenmaker as Christine and Nadim Namaan as Raoul.
John joined a host of West End performers when he performed at the popular West End:Live event in Trafalgar Square, London. an estimated 20,000 people were in attendance watching John belt out songs from his albums!
In June, BBC Radio Wales conducted a poll of their listeners to find Wales' Greatest Living Voice. A panel of music experts drew up a shortlist of 30 singers and the decision of who is Wales' Greatest Living Voice was put to the public. The winner was announced when the programme aired on Friday June 12th.
When the results were revealed John came 3rd!
He was beaten by multi-platinum selling rock star James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers (who came 2nd) and the biggest selling recording artist of the 1980's the legendary Shakin' Stevens who came top of the poll.
John said: "Considering the amount of incredible singers from Wales it's an honour to be included in the top 30. I'm delighted to even be on the same list as singing legends such as Bryn Terfel, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones. To have placed higher than them is overwhelming! I'm absolutely delighted and want to thank all who voted for me"
John played two sold solo shows in Japan in August.
John appeared in Tokyo with a full band and also appeared in an intimate solo show in Osaka with John Quirk on piano. John's special guest for both shows was the brilliant Seiko Niizuma who appeared with John in Tokyo in May. Below is an interview with John that appeared in Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. If you speak Japanese you may enjoy it!
Also in August, John released a special Japan-only album to coincide with the sold out Japanese shows. John Owen-Jones:Music of the Night is compilation of the best tracks from his first two albums Unmasked and John Owen-Jones and contains an exclusive brand new track - Suddenly from the Oscar winning Les Miserables movie. It is available in record stores all over Japan and online here
John's brand new critically acclaimed album Rise was released on March 2nd 2015. Featuring songs from musicals and other genres and guest performances form Madalena Alberto and Ruthie Henshall, the album was produced by John and recorded in Wales and London. The physical album and digital download are available from Amazon, iTunes etc. The Japanese version of Rise was released during May to coincide with John's appearance in Tokyo.
'RISE LIKE A PHOENIX' CD SINGLE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 16TH
In anticipation of the March 2nd release of John's new album Rise, a limited edition two track CD single and download was released on Monday 16th of February. The single included the tracks Rise Like A Phoenix and Bread of Heaven, both taken from John's album Rise.
The CD single sold out but the download is still available through Amazon.com and iTunes
OVER THE EASTER PERIOD JOHN RETURNED TO THE WEST END STAGE IN SWEENEY TODD
After last performing in the West End in 2011, John returned to the London stage to play the role of Pirelli in the English National Opera production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in March/April. The critically acclaimed staged concert production was a sell out for its short run at The Lincoln Center in New York last year and had a strictly limited run of 14 performances at the London Coliseum Theatre from March 30th to April 12th. John shared the stage with stars Bryn Terfel (Sweeney Todd) Emma Thompson (Mrs Lovett) and Philip Quast (Judge Turpin) and received rave reviews!
The show was directed by Lonny Price and the ENO orchestra was conducted by David Charles Abell.
After a hugely successful series of concerts in 2014, John returned to Tokyo to perform in three sold out Musicals meets Symphony Concerts at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre on May 2nd and 3rd 2015. He joined the Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra (conducted by Toshiaki Umeda) to perform songs from the musicals. This time he was joined onstage by Japanese performers Kei Aran, Akinori Nakagawa, Seiko Niizuma, Genki Hirakata and chart topping Britain's Got Talent winners Collabro!
JOHN PERFORMED ALONGSIDE WELSH POP AND ROCK SUPERSTARS IN CARDIFF IN MARCH
John appeared in the 'Wales at Number One' Concert at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on Sunday March 1st. Appearing alongside James Dean Bradfield and Shakin' Stevens he performed a selection of songs all made famous by Welsh artists such as Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and Manic Street Preachers. Also appearing on the bill were Sophie Evans, Lucie Jones, Shaheen Jarfargoli and Ricky Valance