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Rebecca Newman, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, June 2
YORK operatic singer Rebecca Newman will take centre stage at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, on June 2 in an evening of songs, harmonies and dance.
Building on the success of her JoRo concert last year, Rebecca will complement her renditions of such light soprano favourites as Time To Say Goodbye and Love Never Dies with dance routines by professional ballet dancer Laura White and charming vocal performances by York barbershop quartet Spirit Of Harmony.
Rebecca will incorporate Laura’s dancing in some of her songs, as well as the Sheffield dancer doing dance pieces on her own.
Spirit Of Harmony previously joined Rebecca on the bill at the Lord Mayor's Charity Gala Concert in March at the Theatre Royal. The close-harmony choir members, who meet every Thursday evening in Tadcaster, will be competing in the British Barbershop Championships this weekend.
“I’m delighted to be hosting another concert at this beautiful theatre,” says Rebecca. “I started my professional singing career in York and people here are so supportive.”
Since her Scarborough Spa debut last December, she has taken a step back from performing to focus on her vocal training and repertoire – oh, and to get married.
“I’ve been training with Anne-Maria Czajkowski, an alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music, and will be showcasing some of my new material at the June concert,” says Rebecca.
“I’ve finally had the time to focus on my voice and start to find out what it can really do. This means I have a few new songs up my sleeve that I’ve wanted to do for years, but haven’t had the confidence or time to invest in them to bring them up to performance standard.
“Of course, I’ll be singing plenty of the big favourites too, and I’ll be teaming up with the guest acts to create a finale for Act One with a sporting theme as our own little tribute to the Olympics."
Rebecca made the leap of faith into becoming a full-time professional singer upon graduating from the University of York in 2007, after busking her way through her university days, when she entertained, tourists, locals and pigeons alike outside the Minster or Bettys tearooms.
“It’s very appropriate that there’ll be a two-day busking festival on in town on the weekend I’m performing in one of the city's theatres. Busking is how I started out and I hope all the buskers involved have a great time.
“I’ve performed at amazing venues across the country, including the Royal Albert Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Headingley Stadium, but York stole my heart when I moved here in 2004 and to perform to a home crowd tops it all"
Rebecca has exciting plans for the next 12 months, including a single release and a nationwide tour in the autumn, ahead of starting work on her next classical album for release next year.
“Although it’s very hard work to be an independent, self-managed, self-funded musician, the hard work is starting to pay off and I'm very excited about the year ahead,” she says.
“This June concert is very important for me because if I achieve a good level of support for this one, I can set my sights even higher for the next one and take on the challenge of a bigger venue in 2013.”
Tickets for the 7pm concert are on sale at £14, concessions £12, on 01904 623568 or online at rebeccanewman.net.
Rebecca hopes to present a cheque to Childline on the night, representing the latest fundraising she has achieved from her album sales. Since releasing Cantare in 2008, she has raised more than £7,000 by donating 50p per CD sold.
Tomorrow, Rebecca will perform Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend to open the Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s 7.30pm screening of Some Like It Hot, and on Sunday she will sing a few songs in the Coppergate Centre at the Minster FM roadshow and tea party.
Dates for Rebecca’s 2012 British and Irish tour will be announced in August. “The shows will take me to 25-30 venues and will be linked with a national charity,” she says. Watch this space for more details.