Jonathan Ansell

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Jonathan Ansell
JA 2 2007.jpg
English tenor Jonathan Ansell at Broadlands in Hampshire, England, in 2007.
Background information
Birth name Jonathan Mark Ansell
Born (1982-03-10) 10 March 1982 (age 32)
Origin Bognor Regis, Sussex, England
Genres Classical
Easy listening
Operatic pop
Vocal
Occupations Tenor singer
Years active 2004–present
Labels Ansell Entertainment
Website jonathanansell.com

Jonathan Mark Ansell (born 10 March 1982) is an English singer, formerly the high tenor of the vocal group G4.

Early life[edit]

Ansell was born in Bognor Regis in 1982, where both his parents were Primary school teachers. Influenced by his mother’s tapes of Pavarotti and the Three Tenors, Ansell joined the West Sussex Boys' Choir conducted by Arthur Robson, at the age of eight. He toured extensively with the choir to Florida, Germany, and France, performed in the Royal Festival Hall and sang many times in Arundel Cathedral. Ansell stayed with the choir until his voice broke at the age of 16[1] when he lost the ability to sing treble but after puberty found he had developed a high tenor voice instead.

He attended the Anglican Bishop Luffa School in Chichester. Ansell achieved his Grade 8 as a treble at 13, and received his Grade 8 as a tenor at 17. He published a solo album in 2001 with his savings.

After a performance of Love Changes Everything at a choral society concert in Littlehampton, his local MP Howard Flight, who was in the audience, arranged for him to have a preliminary audition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Ansell suffered from Glandular Fever from early September 1999 to mid-February 2000, and so the audition was rearranged.[2] After working with music teacher Martin Elliott, he won a place at the Guildhall two years later.[3]

Whilst at the Guildhall Jonathan's singing teacher was Adrian Thompson who has a similar voice to Jonathan and he described their lessons as working together. At that time Jonathan tried his hardest at the academic studies but fell below the standard. Diagnosed as dyslexic, an agreement was reached where by he stayed as a pupil.[1]

G4[edit]

Whilst at the Guildhall School, he formed the pop-opera boyband G4 with three other students Mike Christie, Tom Lowe, and Ben Thapa. Lowe later resigned as bass, replaced by Matthew Stiff. Their name, G4, stands for Guildhall 4.

G4 were discovered after finishing second on ITV talent show The X Factor in 2004. G4's self-titled debut album produced by Trevor Horn and Brian Rawling, reached Number One for Mother's Day weekend 2005. In total they released 3 albums, sold in excess of 1.5 million albums in the UK, completed 5 sell-out UK tours, sold in excess of 40,000 Live at the Royal Albert Hall DVDs (one of the concerts on their first tour) and also released a best selling autobiography Our Way.

Ansell turned down the role of Prince Tamino in Kenneth Branagh's film of Mozart's The Magic Flute to stay with the band and continue recording. On 5 April 2007, G4 announced on GMTV that they were calling it a day at the end of July 2007.

Solo career[edit]

Ansell signed with new management Jonathan Shalit in 2007 and secured a £1 million, 5 album deal with Universal Classics and Jazz (UCJ), part of Universal Music Group.[4] His first solo album with UCJ, Tenor at the Movies, was released on 18 February 2008.

For five Sunday afternoons from 17 February 2008, Ansell presented The Great Movie Composers on ClassicFM coinciding with the release of his solo album.

On 24 February 2008, Ansell's album Tenor at the Movies went straight to number 1 in the Classical Chart and stayed there for 3 weeks, reached Number 9 in mainstream charts, making him the youngest tenor ever to top the Classical Charts.

Ansell participated in a celebrity edition of Channel 4 show Come Dine With Me on 10 April 2008, alongside MC Harvey, Tamara Beckwith and Lynsey de Paul. Ansell came in joint first place with MC Harvey, both of whom scored 21 points.

On 8 May 2008, Ansell's participation in BBC programme Ready Steady Cook against Hayley Westenra was broadcast. In the evening of 8 May 2008, Ansell performed Un Giorno Per Noi with Westenra at the Classical Brits, Royal Albert Hall.

During June 2008, Ansell and England and Arsenal striker Kelly Smith won the British Lung Foundation's male and female 'Lungs of the Year 2008' award in recognition of the fantastic use they have made of their lungs over the past year.[5]

In a Q&A session with the BBC's Last Choir Standing website, Ansell gave his views on the benefits of being part of a choir: "People see choirs on stage and predominantly it looks quite square... but off stage that's where all the fun happens - in rehearsals, messing about, lunch breaks, interacting with new people. That, for me, is what choirs are all about – having that fun both on and off stage."[6] Jonathan made a guest appearance on Last Choir Standing (Results Show) on 3 August 2008 performing "Barcelona".[7]

On Sunday, 17 August 2008, Ansell participated in the tribute concert Lyrics by Don Black which was held at the London Palladium featuring performances of Black's songs by a selection of guest artists. He performed the duet Amigos Para Siempre with Hayley Westenra, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The evening, hosted by Michael Parkinson was recorded by BBC Radio 2 Friday Night is Music Night and broadcast on Friday, 22 August 2008.[8]

One of the tracks on his second album Forever is "Hearts of England", the 2008 Rugby League World Cup song composed by Patrick Hawes and his brother Andrew. He performed it live at the Rugby League Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, 30 August 2008.[9]

For the second weekend running Ansell performed a track from his album Forever live at Wembley, this time to sing the footballing anthem Nessun Dorma at Soccer Aid on Sunday, 7 September whilst the teams were presented to Sir Geoff Hurst.

Before his G4 days, Ansell worked in Jersey with a Gilbert and Sullivan operatic society and during September 2008 returned to his roots by taking on the role of Nanki-Poo in the Carl Rosa Opera Company's production of The Mikado at both the Richmond Theatre and Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.[10]

Ansell performed alongside Hayley Westenra at Music on Fire! at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in September 2008, organised by the Army Benevolent Fund to raise funds for veterans.[11]

The third series of The Alan Titchmarsh Show featured the start of a competition to find a soprano to sing alongside Ansell in the A Night At The Opera tour.[12] 8 ladies were selected to sing in front of a judging panel of David Grant, Ruthie Henshall and Jonathan Shalit. The 4 successful ladies Rosie Bell,[13] Rosie Havel,[14] Olivia Safe and Esther Dee[15] faced a public vote on 15 September 2008 and Olivia Safe and Rosie Bell won through. They sang Libiamo ne' lieti calici with Ansell, from Verdi's La Traviata on 29 September 2008. Olivia Safe won the public vote to appear in the tour of A Night At the Opera.

A Night At the Opera had its first performance at the Cardiff Millennium Centre on 30 October 2008 and toured 18 venues in the UK ending at the London Palladium on 23 November 2008.[12] The show co-stars Silvia Colloca, Telman Guzhevsky, Anna-Clare Monk, Toby Stafford Allen and Olivia Safe.[16]

On Saturday, 8 November 2008, Ansell performed "Today Won't Come Again" with Hayley Westenra at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, and later sang Here's to the Heroes when the returning forces came into the auditorium.

During February 2009, Ansell toured with Hayley Westenra in The Valentines Tour.[17] At the England versus Scotland Six Nations Rugby Match at Twickenham on 21 March 2009, Ansell sang the English National Anthem at Twickenham. During Easter Week, 7 April 2009 Jonathan appeared in Dictionary Corner on Channel 4's Countdown. Ansell was nominated for the Classical Brits 2009 "Album of the Year" with Tenor at the Movies.[18] On Monday 30 November 2009, Ansell launched the This Morning's Christmas Choir.[19]

In 2010, Ansell made his musical theatre début as The Man in the Bill Kenwright touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman's Whistle Down The Wind. Opening at the Liverpool Empire on 20 January, Ansell performed eight shows a week for the eight month UK tour.[20] Ansell played Boemer and two other characters in the 2010 National Tour of Lark Rise to Candleford[21] starting at the Theatre Royal Windsor in September 2010.

Ansell played the role of the Prince/Beast in a national tour of Beauty and the Beast in April and May 2011. In June 2011 he toured the UK with the show Jonathan Ansell and Friends.[22]

Ansell unsuccessfully auditioned for the lead role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2012 as part of ITV's Superstar TV talent contest.[23]

In January 2012 Ansell launched a new album project, a mix of pop/rock covers and classics.[24] The Album Two Hearts is released on 14 October 2013.

Philanthropy and Charity[edit]

Ansell has long been a supporter of Breast Cancer Care because his father's twin sister Brenda died from the condition. He participated in the London Triathlon in 2007, performed at their London Fashion Show and Carols by Candlelight Service as well as donating his winnings from Who Wants to be Millionaire and Come Dine with Me. In April 2009, Ansell was appointed as an Ambassador for the charity Breast Cancer Care.[25]

In Oct 2008 Ansell and Hayley Westenra sold poppies at Waterloo Station to support the Royal British Legion.[26] On 12 November, Ansell duet "Today Won't Come Again" with Westenra in the Annual Festival of Remembrance.[27]

Ansell was the benchmark flyer for the Worthing International Birdman challenge where contestants attempt mechanically unaided flight off the end of Worthing Pier. He managed 16.04 metres (52.6 ft), sporting a Mr Incredible-style pink hairdo.[28]

Personal life[edit]

After meeting in a London night club,[29] Ansell proposed to former Quizmania host Debbie King on stage at the end of his final show of A Night at the Opera at the London Palladium on 23 November 2008. The couple married on Sunday 30 August 2009 on the 40th floor of 30 St Mary Axe. On 14 May 2010, the couple announced they were expecting their first child.[30] King gave birth at 02:00 on 24 November 2010 to Siena Valentine Ansell.[31]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Tenor at the Movies
  • Forever
  • Intimate Sunday
  • Two Hearts

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sale, Jonathan (11 September 2008). "An education in the life of Jonathan Ansell, former lead singer of G4". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2008-09-27. 
  2. ^ "I know that ME exists ... I suffer from it twice a year, says G4 star Jonathan Ansell". Mail on Sunday. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  3. ^ "Jonathan Ansell Official Site". Official Website. 15 January 2008. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  4. ^ "'I was such a pretty boy even my mother thought I was gay' says G4's Jonathan Ansell". London: Daily Mail. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  5. ^ "Celebrities with big breaths win Lungs of the Year award". British Lung Foundation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  6. ^ "The Great Choir Debate". BBC. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  7. ^ "Last Choir Standing". BBC. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Friday Night is Music Night". BBC. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  9. ^ "Music News". Virgin Media. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  10. ^ "A warm welcome to the court of the Mikado". getSURREY.co.uk. 27 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  11. ^ "The UK's most stunning outdoor spectacular". Army Benevolent Fund. August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  12. ^ a b "A Spectacular Celebration of the World's Favourite Opera Classic". Flying Music. 1 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  13. ^ "Rosie’s a Border diva". News and Star. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  14. ^ "Singer Rosie, 22, on brink of fame". Wales Online. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  15. ^ "Duo go for op stardom". Birmingham Mail. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  16. ^ "Former G4 star pledges to bring the beauty of opera to a much wider audience". Liverpool Daily Post. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  17. ^ "The Valentines Tour". Kennedy Street Enterprises. 30 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  18. ^ "Classical Btits 2009". Classical Brits. 11 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  19. ^ "A first for live television!". ITV. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  20. ^ "G4 tenor Ansell to make musical début in Whistle Down The Wind". The Stage. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ "Jonathan Ansell and Friends". Jonathan Ansell. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  23. ^ "X Factor G4 singer auditions for Lord Lloyd Webber's 'Superstar' - Superstar News - Reality TV". Digital Spy. 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  24. ^ "New Album Project". pledgemusic.com News. January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
  25. ^ "Jonathan Ansell becomes Ambassador for Breast Cancer Care". Breast Cancer Care. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  26. ^ "Singing poppy sellers – The Royal British Legion". Britishlegion.org.uk. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  27. ^ "Remembrance 2008 – The Royal British Legion". Britishlegion.org.uk. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  28. ^ "G4 star sets Worthing Birdman pace". The Argus. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  29. ^ "Mutiny on the high Cs as G4 reveal why they split". London: Daily Mail. 6 April 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  30. ^ "Extremely exciting news". JonathanAnsell.com. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-14. 
  31. ^ "So I am now a dad! Wow!!". Jonathan Ansell. 24 Nov 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 

External links[edit]