North West Wales

Bryn Terfel and former FAW head honoured by Queen

Sir Bryn Terfel Image copyright Getty Images

One of Wales' and the world's leading opera singers Bryn Terfel has been made a knight in the New Year Honours.

Sir Bryn, 51, from Pant Glas, Gwynedd, said he was "immensely proud" of the appointment.

Among others to be named in the honours list is the former president of the Football Association of Wales (FAW).

Trefor Lloyd Hughes, from Anglesey, has been made an OBE for his services to the game.

Opera star Sir Bryn revealed that he thought the letter about his knighthood was for tickets to the autumn rugby internationals.

He told BBC Wales he was "absolutely speechless" when he opened the letter.

"This is monumental for people to receive such an accolade," he added.

"I'm immensely proud to accept this and I think of my family, I think of my sons, I think of my fans, I think of the great British public."

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Media captionKnighthood for Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel

Born near Caernarfon in north Wales in 1965, Sir Bryn started singing at eisteddfod competitions from the age of four.

He made his stage debut with Welsh National Opera in 1990, singing Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte.

His first international offer came from Salzburg and since then he has appeared in all the major opera houses of the world, with music as diverse as Mozart and Wagner, Puccini and Stravinsky, winning two Grammies and four Classical Brit awards.

Sir Bryn was a strong supporter for a home for opera in Wales. Since the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay opened in 2004, he has performed there many times.

He is also the president of homeless charity Shelter Cymru and patron of Bobath Children's Therapy Centre Wales.

"This is something I will hopefully carry with pride, and think it might help some young singers to achieve something - and to dream - and that is something very important."

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns called Sir Bryn "an inspiration" and said his music "brings much joy to so many all around the world".

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Media captionMr Hughes said was initially unsure whether he should accept his OBE

The former FAW president Trefor Lloyd Hughes revealed that he was initially unsure whether to accept his OBE.

"There are people in Wales and particularly Anglesey who deserve it a lot, lot more than me," he said.

"I honestly believe if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here today.

"It is an honour not just to me but those people involved in the game in Wales and in Anglesey in particular."

Voted onto the FAW council in 1989, he was previously treasurer and senior vice-president. He was also secretary of the Anglesey League and North Wales Football Association.

British Empire Medal recipients also included Barbara Jones, of Tywyn, for services to the British Red Cross and the Gwynedd community, and Pauline Roberts for her community work in Cemaes, Anglesey.

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