SINGER Claire Furley and pianist Phil Aldridge pay tribute to Karen and Richard Carpenter in The Carpenters Story at the Grand Opera House, York, tonight.

This concert performance combines orchestral arrangements of the Carpenters canon with a stage-wide backdrop of video projections in a 7.30pm show featuring such hits as (They Long To Be) Close To You, Top Of The World, Goodbye To Love and We’ve Only Just Begun.

Claire says: "From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to perform. Although my first love was the violin, and I dreamed of the life of a professional violinist, a chance meeting with [stage school director] Sylvia Young back when I was 15 led to my hobby of singing becoming my career.

"I began classical training and have been singing professionally since the age of 17. I later met and auditioned for Phil Aldridge, and have provided the voice of Karen Carpenter starring alongside Phil and The Carpenters Story Orchestra ever since."

Carpenters convert Phil says: "I’d always had a real passion for music, but my love of vocal harmony started when I heard the early Carpenters records. Back in those days, I used to be a big rock fan, listening to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but I found myself more and more drawn to the sound of those harmonies on Close to You.

"So, a few years down the line, I called up some friends I’d met along the way who were great players and, as I’d trained as an arranger by then, was able to put together a show which just played the music of the Carpenters."

Tickets are still available on 0844 871 3024 or at