Choir lands top soprano for anniversary show

Laura Wright at last year's Rugby World Cup. INPT06-040
Laura Wright at last year's Rugby World Cup. INPT06-040

Portadown Male Voice Choir is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a touch of panache by booking, for its annual concert, mezzo soprano Laura Wright – famed for her rendition of ‘World in Union’ at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

The singer is expected to pack the Civic Centre concert hall on Friday, April 15 with an eclectic mix of songs embracing popular culture, operatic, musical theatre and folk.

Laura (25) first came to public notice in 2005 when she won the BBC2 Chorister of the Year for Female Voice. The life of the rugby-playing, cycling and running Suffolk-born songstress has been one of non-stop success since then. In 2014, she stopped halfway through the London Marathon to give spectators an impromptu performance!

With combined album sales in excess of a million, Laura is one of the biggest-selling classical artists of the past decade. She has backed this up in the ‘live’ sense, as special guest artist in Alfie Boe’s English tour, the Queen’s Jubilee tour with Russell Watson and opened the iTunes festival for Andrea Bocelli.

And in her own ‘solo’ successes, they sold out her headline shows at the Royal Albert Hall Elgar Rooms.

She has also performed at American football’s National Football League (NFL) matches; at the Carnegie Cup Final; the FA Cup Final; the Carling Cup Final and the launch of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games with her own composition ‘Invincible’.

As a Royal favourite, she has graced such venues as Buckingham Palace, the O2 Arena, The Royal Festival Hall, Twickenham, Westminster Abbey and even the Great Wall of China. And during the 70th Anniversary of VE Day at Horseguards Parade, she sang ‘Wish Me Luck’, backed by Collabro, and joined by Pixie Lott and Rebecca Ferguson for ‘The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’.

Said male choir musical director Gordon Speers, “We are delighted to have signed up a wonderful artist like Laura, a first class graduate of the Royal College of Music, for such an important date in the choir’s history. It’s a real coup for the choir and for the town.”

Tickets will go on sale soon.