Plaid MS welcomes the inclusion of Pontardawe’s “Dai Tenor” in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography
Plaid MS Sioned Williams hailed the addition of famous Pontardawe opera singer David John Jones, affectionately known as âDai Tenorâ to the Dictionary of Welsh Biography following a successful campaign.
David John Jones was a popular tenor from Pontardawe, who managed to have a remarkable career as an internationally renowned tenor.
Born into a poor working class family, he was employed in the tin works of Pontardawe, but after his local and national success as a tenor he performed for over thirty years in operas, concerts, oratorios, variety shows in the UK and beyond as well as on radio, and has worked with stars such as baritone Sir Geraint Evans and conductor Sir Adrian Boult. A photo of him hangs at the Pontardawe Arts Center on Herbert Street. He retired from singing in the late 1950s, to become a familiar figure as the guardian of Pontardawe Park, and died in December 1978 at the age of 72.
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography aims to capture the stories of ‘people who have made a significant contribution to national life, whether in Wales or more broadly’.
After a successful exhibition on his remarkable life titled âFrom Steel to the Stageâ at the Pontardawe Heritage Center, a local petition and support from Sioned Williams MS to include David John Jones in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, an entry on his life and his career will henceforth be understood.
Sioned Williams, Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales West, said: âI am delighted that David John Jones is included in the Dictionary of Biography – he well deserves this recognition. Dai Tenor is a working class hero locally, and it is time for him to be recognized as a national hero as well.
âA strong tradition of working class musicians and artists exists here in the Swansea Valley and the Neath region, and it is vital that this proud tradition is noted in the history books.