VIDEO: York based 'People's Soprano' Venice video
2:52pm 2nd September 2014
(Updated 3:15pm 2nd September 2014)
Affectionately named 'The People's Soprano' by fans, colleagues and the media, singer-songwriter Rebecca Newman is one of the most exciting classical-crossover acts the UK has seen for a long time.
As an independent artist she has already sold over 15,000 albums, headlined her own twenty date UK tour, appeared on ITV1, BBC1 and BBC Radio, sung the national anthems live on TV for several international televised sporting events and shared the stage with stars like Russell Watson and Aled Jones.
Her beautiful voice, down to earth nature and her commitment to her charitable causes has won the hearts of many and her eagerly anticipated new album, called 'Dare to Dream' is named after her own song that embodies the spirit of her musical career. The accompaniment is provided by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, with conductor and arranger Paul Bateman. It also features a special collaboration with Classical Brit Award Winners 'Blake' and TV-star soprano Mary-Jess. Her new Video was filmed in Venice and can be watch here.
Rebecca started her musical career while studying at the University of York, where she could regularly be found busking outside York Minster. Immediately she fell in love with the connection she gained with the general public and her relationship with her fans is still as close today, as ever. Her support on social media - aided greatly by recent efforts to encourage more mature, 'silver surfers', to get online - lead to her becoming the first classical artist, and first British artist, to win the $10,000 prize in the global music competition Artist Signal, with a margin of over 20,000 votes compared to the second place artist. The unwavering support from her fans has enabled her to raise funds to produce an album of exceptionally high quality, realising a long held dream to record with a live orchestra.
Rebecca says "I have been writing songs since I was 11, but never dreamed I would get the opportunity to record one of my own compositions with a live orchestra and with the orchestral arrangement written by someone of Paul Bateman's calibre. As a classical artist it was normal for me sing 'cover versions' because the music I was leaning had been written many years or centuries ago. I spent a lot of time around singer-songwriters in the acoustic pop world, and even spent time in a hip hop band at university, where I blended operatic vocals with jazz styles, but I've only recently started to write songs that can fit on an album next to operatic arias by composers like Puccini and Bizet. I’ve listened carefully to what my listeners want to hear – who are indicative of the light classical and the crossover audience – and their feedback has shown me that new songs are as important to them as in any genre.”
Her Christmas music video, directed by York film maker Dave Thorp has already clocked up thousands of hits on Youtube. It was filmed at the Derwent Light Railway at Murton near York . The actors are members of We Are Theatre in the city. See it here
The new album features two brand new compositions – Dare to Dream, the title track, and Heroes to the World – plus lesser known classical pieces, like Rondine al Nido, by Vincenzo di Crescenzo, which is a popular piece by many famous tenors, like Pavarotti, but appears to have never been covered by a female voice. Rebecca has recorded many of her favourite operatic pieces her audiences have enjoyed, like Mi Chiamano Mimi (from La Boheme by Puccini) and Casta Diva (from Norma by Bellini). She has even recorded a haunting, classical crossover version of I’m Kissing You, by Craig Armstong, from the 1996 film Romeo and Juliet, which had not been released as a classical crossover version in the UK before she began putting her stamp on it in 2013. There is an unusual version of Gershwin’s Summertime, from the opera Porgy and Bess, which is sung in the original opera key, higher than many operatic sopranos tend to sing it.
Rebecca is an extensive live performer and it was important to her to reflect that in her album. Rebecca has had overwhelming support from her extensive fan base. The people of Britain have chosen Rebecca to be their ‘People’s Soprano’. Her auditions (unlike TV Talent shows) were held busking on the streets and the public gave her the thumbs up and now have funded this exciting next step of her career.
|Get the latest local news direct to your inbox.
Sign up now for our email updates.