Shropshire and Welsh charities benefit from opera singer's fundraising lockdown concerts
An opera singer's live lockdown concerts from his home have raised more than £10,000 for good causes – including Hope House children's hospices and Wales Air Ambulance Charity.
Before the pandemic, John Ieuan Jones from Rhos-on-Sea, in north Wales, was due to perform in Canada and was going to start a contract at the Grange Park Opera in Surrey.
His most recent lockdown concert followed two previous concerts that the baritone singer had performed to raise money for different charities.
It raised over £1,800 for the Wales Air Ambulance and Ataxia UK.
Once some lockdown restrictions were lifted, John Ieuan was apprehensive about the number of people that would tune in.
Despite his concerns, over 200 people watched the recent concert live and since then it has had a staggering 7,000 views.
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He said: “The concert went really well. It was my third online concert and therefore I was well used to the routine by now which meant I could relax a little more.
"With lockdown easing, I was afraid it wouldn't gain as much interest, however, I am pleased this was not the case and I was able to raise a good amount of money for both charities.
“I have raised around £10,000 with gift aid between the three concerts, and I am so incredibly grateful to the people who have so generously donated.
“I would like to thank every single person who has supported me during these concerts. I've been blown away by people's generosity and it made the effort of putting these concerts on totally worth it.
"I am extremely happy I have been able to do something small to help some incredible charities during this difficult time and I will continue to help in whichever way I can.”
During each concert, viewers had surprise guests. The most recent concert included tenor and Wales Air Ambulance Ambassador Rhys Meirion, who joined John Ieuan for a duet, as well as four of John Ieuan’s good friends, Ryan Vaughan Davide, Erin Rossington, Steffan Lloyd Owen and Eiry Price, who joined him for a rendition of Anfonaf Angel.
His previous concert included special guest Sir Bryn Terfel, who is patron of the Wales Air Ambulance.
Lynne Garlick, Wales Air Ambulance fundraising manager, said: “It is wonderful to hear that people like John Ieuan Jones thought of different ways to not only entertain the public during these difficult times but to also fundraise for so many charities. To have raised over £10,000 is just incredible.
"His support is much appreciated, and I’m pleased over 200 people tuned in to enjoy listening to the talented opera singer. Thank you to everyone who has donated.
"John Ieuan’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.”
The other charities to benefit from the online concerts were DPJ Foundation, Mind, Hope House children's hospices and St David's Hospice.