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Allun Davies

Allun Davies was born in Neath. He fell in love with opera at a very early age after learning the piano. A very influential moment occurred at the age of 11 when he was asked by his piano tutor, Unis Davies who was also a member of the Kenilworth Singers, if he would like to see the famous Australian opera diva Joan Hammond who was to appear as a guest artist at the Gwyn Hall in Neath. Allun was thrilled to be seated in the wings on a small chair. He was mesmerised by the immense talent that she had, as her voice filled every corner of the building. A seed was planted that night and Allun new what he wanted from that moment on. At the age of 14 he joined the Cadoxton Opera Company and at the age of 16 became the youngest member of the Welsh National Opera chorus – he performed with them at Swansea Grand Theatre and in Cardiff. He was proud to meet up again with Joan Hammond when she appeared in “Tosca” for the Welsh National Opera and was pleasantly surprised when she remembered him from their earlier meeting. In 1965 Allun auditioned and was accepted as a contestant on Hughie Green's “Opportunity Knocks” and became something of a sensation by winning the public vote for seven continuous weeks. The first song he sang on the show was the Richard Tauber classic "Girls Were Made To Love And Kiss". Allun idolised Tauber and remembers his Father and Aunt telling him of the time they walked from Neath To Swansea to see Tauber perform live at The Empire Theatre during the blitz of World War 2. He was thrilled and excited to receive a telegram and a white heather spray from Tauber’s widow Diana Napier after that first show. Another highlight came in 1968 when Allun was chosen by the British viewing public to appear with Marty Wilde, Wayne Fontana and Brenda Marsh as the British contestants in the European Song Contest in Belgium. Allun was asked by Hughie Green to perform at an all winners Christmas Special in the same year. As this was a live broadcast, all the acts were asked to reduce their performance times. Allun was to sing “Bless This House” at the end. Les Dawson tapped him on the shoulder and told him that Hughie Green had said that Allun had to cut down his song also, and he would only have the time to sing “Bless”. Les was of course only joking! After a long and successful performing career he now devotes part of his time to coaching, one of his students is West End star Mike Sterling