Wynne Evans BEM MStJ (born 27 January 1972) is a Welsh singer, presenter, and actor, known for his role as Gio Compario and latterly himself in the Go.compare insurance adverts on television in the United Kingdom.

Wynne Evans

Evans on the cover of A Song in My Heart
Born (1972-01-27) 27 January 1972 (age 52)
Carmarthen, Wales
Alma materGuildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Singer
  • actor
Known forGo Compare adverts

Evans sang the role of Ubaldo Piangi in the 25th anniversary production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall,[1][2] and sang "Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur" at the last game at White Hart Lane.[3] He reprised the song at the opening of Spurs' new stadium.

Opera singer edit

Born in Carmarthen, Wales, Evans studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio.[1]

In late 2011, Evans was cast as the opera singer Ubaldo Piangi, in the 25th anniversary celebratory production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall[4]

Evans enjoys a close association with Welsh National Opera[5] where his roles include Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore,[6] Cassio in Otello (S4C Broadcast),[7] The Duke in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in La bohème, Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Alfredo in La traviata, Jaquino in Leonore (BBC Broadcast), the Schoolmaster in The Cunning Little Vixen, the Chevalier in Les Dialogues des Carmelites, the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier, the First Jew in Salome (S4C and BBC Broadcast), Liberto in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and Alfred in Die Fledermaus.[1]

He made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2009 singing Vakula in the new production of Cherevichki, and appeared again in 2011 as the Mayor of Mexia in Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera Anna Nicole, based on the life of Anna Nicole Smith.[8]

For Opera de Lyon he has sung Gianni Schicchi, Il Tabarro and The Cunning Little Vixen. For English National Opera Evans has sung Alfredo in La Traviata, Spoletta and Cavaradossi in Tosca, and Second Jew in Salome. For Opera North he has appeared as Fenton in Falstaff, Prunier in La Rondine and Paulino in The Secret Marriage. For Scottish Opera his roles include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier. For Grange Park Opera he has performed the roles of Trufaldino The Love for Three Oranges the Italian Tenor Capriccio the Schoolmaster in The Cunning Little Vixen and Harry in La Fanciulla del West.[7] For the Classical Opera Company Evans sang the role of Fracasso in La Finta Semplice. Other credits include Orpheus in Orpheus in the underworld for Opera Holland Park and The Peacock in Param Vir’s Broken Strings for the Almeida Theatre, which was recorded for the BBC.[1]

Concert singer edit

As a concert singer Evans' appearances include Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music at the televised opening night of the 2001 BBC Proms, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for RTÉ, ElgarsThe Dream of Gerontius at the Welsh Proms, the Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall and a recital at the Wigmore Hall, London.

Evans sings as a soloist on three CD volumes entitled Here Come the Classics[9] with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, has recorded Salome and Ariadne auf Naxos for Chandos Records[10] and has appeared several times on the BBC's Friday Night is Music Night.[1][11]

He also presents on BBC Radio Wales with his brother, Mark Evans, and was awarded the MStJ by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008.[12]

Recording artist edit

In 2010, Evans signed a six-album deal with Warner Music; his first album is called A Song in My Heart and was released on 21 March 2011. The album went straight to number one in the UK Classical Charts in the following week.[13] His second album, Wynne, was released in 2013.[14]

Television and radio edit

Go.Compare edit

Since August 2009, Evans has starred in an advertising campaign for UK insurance comparison website Go.Compare, playing the flamboyant, operatic tenor Gio Compario.[15]

In 2012, Go.Compare launched the 'Saving the Nation' campaign starring Evans again as Gio Compario. Evans made adverts in the series with Sue Barker, Stuart Pearce, Ray Mears, Louis Spence and most famously Professor Stephen Hawking, with all of them trying to kill him and thus save the nation from his singing about Go.Compare.[16]

Celebrity MasterChef edit

In 2023, Evans won the eighteenth series of Celebrity MasterChef on BBC One.

Presenting and other edit

During production of Wynne Evans' BBC Wales radio show in New Broadcasting House, Cardiff

In 2011, Evans began presenting. He presented a programme about the Eisteddfod for the BBC and his own TV show on S4C. In 2012, Evans became a regular presenter on BBC Radio Wales and, from October 2013, Evans presented a weekly Friday afternoon show called Wynne Evans' Big Welsh Weekend. Between February 2016 and 23 June 2023, he presented The Wynne Evans Show on the station from 11 am to 2 pm every weekday. From 26th June 2023 the show moved to the 9am to 12pm slot.

Evans was also one of eight celebrities chosen to participate in an intense week of learning Welsh at a campsite in Pembrokeshire for the series cariad@iaith:love4language, shown on S4C in May 2012.

In 2012, Evans presented The Guide to Opera on Classic FM. The show was subsequently nominated for an Arqiva award. In 2013, Evans became a regular presenter on Classic FM. In August 2012, Evans appeared on the football show Soccer AM. He went on the show again in August 2013.

In March 2015, Evans appeared in the Sky 1 comedy drama Stella, as a candidate running for council / Mexican wrestler. The episode ended with Evans singing a couple of numbers.

In 2016, he hosted the BBC One Wales programme Search For A* alongside other celebrities Behnaz Akhgar and Omar Hamdi.[17]

Awards edit

Evans was made a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards of Wales in 2012[18] and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 2013.[19] He was also made a Member of the Venerable Order of Saint John by HM The Queen in 2008. Evans was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Platinum Jubilee honours list.[20]

Personal life edit

Evans is a trustee of The Elizabeth Evans Trust.[21] Evans's mother was Elizabeth Evans MBE, who founded and ran both The Carmarthen Youth Opera and The Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen for 25 years. She died in 2004 and subsequently Evans and his two brothers founded the Trust.[22] A film was later made about her life called Save The Cinema. Evans played a cameo in the film but also made the Behind the Curtain programme about his life for Sky Arts.[23] Evans is divorced, and has two children.[24]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Wynne Evans". Wynneevans.co.uk.
  2. ^ "Gocompare.com 'Gio Compario' advert". Utalkmarketing.com.
  3. ^ "The Lane, the Finale: Farewell Ceremony". Tottenhamhotspur.com.
  4. ^ "Advert tenor Wynne Evans to appear in Phantom gala". BBC News. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  5. ^ [1] [dead link]
  6. ^ "Evans on the Welsh National Opera website". Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Evans on the Athole Still Opera website". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  8. ^ "People pages". Roh.org.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  9. ^ "Grand Opera Gala / Hughes, Norman, Evans, Maxwell, Royal Po". Arkivmusic.com.
  10. ^ "Peter Moores Foundation – Chandos Opera in English – R. Strauss's Salome". Pmf.org.uk.
  11. ^ [2] [dead link]
  12. ^ "No. 58708". The London Gazette. 27 May 2008.
  13. ^ 'Beyond Compare: TV ad singer tops classical charts', The Times, 29 March 2011, p. 11
  14. ^ "Wynne Evans". Royal Opera House. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  15. ^ "Gio Compario". Giocompario.com.
  16. ^ "Physicist Stephen Hawking stars in new Go Compare advert", The Daily Telegraph, 1 January 2013. Accessed 11 September 2014
  17. ^ "Search for A* - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  18. ^ "BBC News – Go Compare star Wynne Evans enters Gorsedd of the Bards". BBC News. 10 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Swansea: The latest news, sport, what's on and business". Walesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  20. ^ "Carmarthen-born presenter and opera singer Wynne Evans 'thrilled' by Queen's Birthday Honour". Inyourarea.co.uk. 3 June 2022.
  21. ^ Trustees of The Elizabeth Evans Trust, Theelizabethevanstrust.co.uk
  22. ^ "Wynne Evans stages gala concert to raise funds for his late mother's trust". Wales Online. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Save the Cinema: How Jurassic Park helped Carmarthen theatre". BBC News. 14 January 2022.
  24. ^ "What it's like being 'the most irritating man on television'". Walesonline.co.uk. 28 December 2020.

External links edit