REBECCA Newman, the “People’s Soprano” from York, is gearing up to support international tenor Russell Watson at ‘the Party In The Park at the Blue Bell Hotel, Burton Agnes, East Yorkshire, on September 14.

“I was thrilled to be invited to perform at this fantastic event alongside some incredible talent,” says Rebecca. “I’m even more privileged because I’m the only local act on the bill.

“I’ve already had a pretty amazing year recording with an orchestra and supporting Aled Jones on tour and now I’ll be flying the flag for Yorkshire next weekend.”

Rebecca is at present in the studio recording her new album with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Paul Bateman.

“It’s been such a whirlwind of a year. I was first inspired to pursue my singing when I heard Sarah Brightman on the Phantom Of The Opera soundtrack, and now I’m working with Paul Bateman, who has worked extensively with Sarah on her world tours and her albums, as well as writing the arrangement for her smash hit duet with Andrea Bocelli, Time To Say Goodbye,” she says.

“With a new album coming out featuring my own song Dare To Dream as the title track, it does feel like life imitating art.”

Earlier in the year, Rebecca sang with Aled Jones on his cathedral tour as a guest soloist, prompting the Welsh singer and television presenter to describe her as “a fantastic soprano”. Rebecca returns the compliment by saying: “Aled is such a genuine person and a joy to work with. I would work with him again in a heartbeat.”

As a down-to-earth soprano who has raised more than £11,000 for various charities through her music, and who busked her way through university by serenading the public outside Bettys Tearooms and the Minster, Rebecca has been nicknamed “the People’s Soprano” by her fans, music colleagues and the media.

“It feels very appropriate that I should be singing next weekend alongside Russell Watson, who is often referred to as ‘the People’s Tenor’ because of his working-class roots and wide-ranging commercial appeal,” she says.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky with the support I’ve received in the York area. My music has taken me away from Yorkshire a lot during the past 12 months, with commitments across the UK and in Europe, so I can’t wait to get back out in front of a Yorkshire crowd on September 14.

“I’ll be performing a 45-minute set and showcasing some of the songs from the new album, including my forthcoming single Heroes To The World, which is an original song of epic proportions. I hope to see lots of familiar Yorkshire faces there.”

Gates will open at 1pm for the 3pm event and concert-goers are welcome to bring picnics. Tickets cost £47.50, including booking fees, and a VIP after-party ticket provides the opportunity to meet Russell Watson and the other performers, Britain’s Got Talent finalists Escala, Irish soprano Margaret Keys, Jimi Laren and Adam Dav, as well as Rebecca.

Party In The Park will be Russell Watson’s last outdoor proms event before the November release of his new album of songs written for him by the writers of Les Miserables, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg.

In preparation for the concert, a 12 by eight-metre stage is to be assembled, along with a large television screen for close-ups. More than 200 tubs of ice cream, 500 punnets of strawberries and 700 bottles of champagne are being brought in for the event.

Hotel owner Alan Wilson says: “I’ve always dreamt of big names and stars visiting the Blue Bell Hotel, and Russell Watson is such a coup. Rebecca Newman is from York, so it’s fantastic to have someone perform from this area.”

• Tickets can be booked at or on 01262 490050.