Rhydian James Roberts
Also known as
14 February 1983 (age 40) (
Sennybridge, Wales, United Kingdom
Musical theatre, classical crossover, opera, Operatic pop, Wagnerian rock
Singer, musical theatre actor, television presenter
Baritone · rhydianroberts.com
Birmingham City University, Birmingham Conservatoire
Sony Music Entertainment, Syco, Syco Music
One Day Like This, O Fortuna, Rhydian, Waves
Rhydian roberts a comments review by dai doom
Rhydian James Roberts (born 14 February 1983), known mononymously as Rhydian, is a classically trained Welsh baritone singer, television presenter and musical theatre actor.
- Rhydian roberts a comments review by dai doom
- Early years
- Vocal training at Birmingham Conservatoire
- Concerts galas and solo tours
- Charity concerts and appearances
- Sports events
- The X Factor 2007
Born in Sennybridge, Rhydian attended the Pontsenni Cylch Meithrin in Brecon and then Ysgol y Bannau Welsh medium school. His enjoyment of both singing and sport developed early. From age 5, he represented both the school and Powys in the Urdd Gobaith Cymru Eisteddfod, with which he maintained links at Llandovery College (where he became head boy), and subsequently at university. Rhydian's ambition, formed from the age of 10, to play professionally for the Ospreys (rugby union) temporarily overrode his love of singing. He played rugby union for the Gwernyfed rugby football club as a junior and later for his school, as well as cricket for Powys County Junior teams. He undertook a stringent exercise programme and was "a gym fanatic who could bench-press 386lbs at 16."
Following a gap year teaching in a small school in South Africa, Rhydian won a bursary to the Birmingham Conservatoire at University of Central England (now known as Birmingham City University).
Vocal training at Birmingham Conservatoire
Recognised as "a star pupil at the Conservatoire from the very beginning," Rhydian studied with Adrian Clarke and Christine Cairns. Awards included the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers (first winner from outside London), the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize, the 2007 Mario Lanza Educational Award, and the Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize. He appeared onstage in Merrily We Roll Along (Charley), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (title role), and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's semi-staged Carmen (Morales). Upon graduating in 2007 he auditioned for the BBC's Any Dream Will Do.
Concerts, galas and solo tours
Rhydian toured the UK in 2008, 2013, and 2014-15. The title of his third tour "One Day Like This", derived from his hit fifth record album.
Between March and May 2010, Rhydian made three gala appearances at the Royal Albert Hall: in the Classic FM Live concert the Classical Brits Awards, and Classic Response. He sang in the closing concert of the 2010 St David's Week Festival at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, and at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. He has guested with Cor Curiad, Flint Male Voice Choir, Pendyrus Male Voice Choir and the Morriston Orpheus Choir. On 1 March 2011 (St David's Day), he entertained his old school in Llandovery during a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales. He featured in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th Birthday concert in Hyde Park and headlined a 2009 Liverpool Summer Pops Festival concert. Seasonal appearances include Hayley Westenra's Christmas Wishes at Birmingham's Symphony Hall and concerts at the Barbican Hall, the O2 (2010), and Bath Forum (2011). He switched on the 2009 Hull Christmas lights.
Rhydian has toured the UK in musical theatre since making his debut in the 2010 European tour of The War of the Worlds - Live on Stage! (Parson Nathaniel), From 2010 to 2013 he appeared in We Will Rock You (Khashoggi, Chief of Police), Grease (40th anniversary tour, playing "Teen Angel") and Rocky Horror Show (Rocky). He has played pantomime leads in Beauty and the Beast, acclaimed for carrying the show "rather spectacularly" with "remarkable gravitas", and Cinderella. In 2015 he played Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar and in 2016 the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors.
2008's highest-selling album by a male newcomer (600,000 copies), was Rhydian's eponymous debut, Rhydian, incorporating material by Jim Steinman. His second, O Fortuna (2009), co-produced by composer Karl Jenkins, included duets with Kiri te Kanawa and Bryn Terfel. Rhydian guested on Morriston Orpheus Choir's CD To Where You Are (Sain, 2011). There were two further albums during 2011: first Waves, with covers of classic 1980s pop and Caneuon Cymraeg (Welsh Songs), a mix of classic Welsh songs and originals (tying in with his debut television series for the Welsh-language channel S4C).
Funded by pledges, One Day Like This (Futura Classics, April 2014), Rhydian's fifth album, returned to his core repertoire, mingling expressive, lavishly produced classics with pop anthems. Duettists include Kerry Ellis and Bonnie Tyler. Within one week of release, it "stormed to the top of the Official Classical Album charts", remaining there for 10 consecutive weeks. It also reached 19 in the Official Album charts, and topped the Classic FM Chart. the second week after release.
During 2009, S4C aired Rhydian's own special followed by a documentary, Rhydian, One Year On In 2011, Rhydian presented his own eight-part television entertainment series for S4C, his fourth album, Caneuon Cymraeg (Welsh Songs) being released to tie in with it. He featured on Charlotte Church's Christmas special, the Children in Need charity telethon, Songs of Praise (BBC), and The X Factor (4th series, final).
Charity concerts and appearances
Rhydian's charity work ranges from winning the 2012 Cardiff Mile for Sport Relief ("an impressive five minutes 40 seconds") to posing nude for Cosmopolitan for prostate cancer in 2010. He opened the 2011 Gwyl Gobaith Festival at the 10th Birthday Concert of Wales Air Ambulance During 2010, Rhydian sang in Classic Response at the Royal Albert Hall and on the charity single "The Prayer," as well as at the Lord Mayor of Cardiff’s Gala Concert and Christian Aid's concert in Wales. Charity gala dinners include Help for Heroes and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). An ambassador of the Prince's Trust, Rhydian performed at the Children of Courage Awards 2008 at Westminster Abbey, and entertained the Royal Family again at "The Prince's Trust Celebrates Success" Awards (2009).
Rhydian sang at the 2008 Welsh Grand Slam celebrations and BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year Awards. He opened the 2010 Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford and the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. In 2011, Rhydian opened the Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
The X Factor (2007)
Rhydian has retrospectively commented: "I’m very proud of what I achieved on X Factor. I’m a showman and it gave me the chance to put on a show". His showmanship was evident in
At audition his manifest talent, coupled with self-assurance and ambition, both awed and perplexed the judges. During the live stages of competition, Rhydian felt that he was portrayed as a "pantomime villain", but eventually his "trademark white hair and flamboyant dress sense made him an audience favourite." His prospects had been buoyed by powerful performances of, among others, "You Raise Me Up," "I Vow to Thee My Country". and "Bridge over Troubled Water", the last acclaimed by Simon Cowell as bloody fantastic ..." Of his rendition of "Somewhere", a tearful Dannii Minogue declared: "I can't even speak, that was so beautiful". His version of "The Impossible Dream" became the keynote track on his first album.