Dame Gwyneth Jones (b. 1936)
Schwartz’s flat, Eaton Square, London
13 October 1978
Jones is ranked among the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of all time. She joined the Royal Opera House in 1963 and achieved overnight fame when she stood in for Leontyne Price in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. She expanded her repertoire over the next few years specialising in German roles by Strauss, Beethoven and eventually Wagner. Throughout the late 1960s and 70s she dominated the Bayreuth Festival, performing and recording nearly all the major roles, and was invited to return year after year. Her awards include Dame of the British Empire, Kammersangerin of the Vienna and Bavarian opera houses and the German Cross of Merit.