CHART-TOPPING soprano Rebecca Newman is set to perform at the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance at York Barbican next month.

Rebecca, who has been dubbed The People's Soprano, will sing The Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and also lead the choir in Last Night of the Proms-style community singing at the end, said festival organiser Ted Griffiths.

The Press reported last month how Rebecca's debut album, Dare to Dream, had stormed to the top of the official UK classical albums charts, beating off competition from Jonas Kaufmann, a classical BRIT award winning artist to reach the coveted spot at the first time of asking.

Mr Griffiths said this year's annual festival would be produced for the second year running by Sandie Dunleavey, and would feature the Band of the King's Division, who were coming over from Lancashire, the Backworth Male Voice Choir, which was coming down from Tyneside, and the York Military Wives Choir.

Soloist Martyn Wyndham-Read and the church choir of All Saints Church, Pavement, would also take part, and there would be the traditional parade of standards and service of remembrance.

The festival, which takes place at 7pm on Sunday, November 2 and be compered by Stan Graham, comes as the country has been marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

It is set to raise thousands of pounds for the Legion’s Poppy Appeal, which enables the Legion to provide financial, social and emotional support to all those who have been affected by conflict.

Last year’s event was attended by more than 800 people and raised almost £8,000, meaning the festivals have raised a grand total of £142,300 over the years. Mr Griffiths said it was possible this year's event might take the total past £150,000.

*Tickets for this year’s service, costing £14, £15 and £16, with concessions available, can be bought from the Barbican box office between 10am and 2pm or by calling the box office on 0844 8542757.