Lesley Garrett Explained

Lesley Garrett
Background:solo_singer
Birth Date:10 April 1955
Birth Place:Thorne, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
Occupation:Singer–songwriter, musician, broadcaster, media personality
Genre:Classical
Years Active:1979–present
Label:Decca
Universal Classics and Jazz
Universal Music International
Website:Official site

Lesley Garrett CBE (born 10 April 1955) is an English musician, broadcaster and media personality.[1]

Early life

Garrett was born in the town of Thorne near Doncaster in South Yorkshire, into a musical family. She attended Thorne Grammar School, where she performed in school plays and musicals. As she grew up she inherited her family's love of music. Her grandfather Colin Wall was a classical pianist, her father Derek worked as a railway signalman and then as a schoolteacher at Hatfield Woodhouse Primary School, and they lived nearby just South of the village; her mother Margaret (née Wall) was a talented singing seamstress. She has a sister, Kay. When she was 19, to earn money in the summer, Lesley washed dishes at the officers' mess at nearby RAF Lindholme, where she received two marriage proposals.[2]

Music

Garrett has had an extensive music career. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, she won the Decca Prize of the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 1979, thereby launching her career.[3] During her time as principal soprano at English National Opera, she became well known for her performances in productions of the operas Serse, Le Nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and Die Fledermaus.[1]

Garrett has performed across the world, in countries throughout Europe, and also the United States, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. She has also sung opera and pop classics with Bryan Ferry, The Eurythmics and Mick Hucknall to celebrate the arrival of the new century on Millennium Eve, in the grounds at the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum.[4]

She played the lead role of Hanna Glawari in the Welsh National Opera's production of The Merry Widow, which toured the United Kingdom in 2005. As of November 2006, for six months she is performing as Mother Abbess in Andrew Lloyd Webber's revival of The Sound of Music. In 2008, she joined the cast of Carousel as Nettie Fowler. The production toured the UK and then transferred to the West End's Savoy Theatre.

Garrett created the role of Cathy in the London studio recording of Bernard J. Taylor's operatic version of Wuthering Heights, which also featured Dave Willetts, Bonnie Langford and other leading singers from the British musical stage. Her rendition of "I Belong to The Earth" was included on two of her solo albums.

As a recording artist, Garrett has released eleven solo albums. Many of them have been successful, receiving gold and silver status. Soprano in Red received the Gramophone Award for "Best-selling Classical Artist of the Year". Garrett was also a featured artist on the platinum selling "Perfect Day" single released by the BBC in aid of Children in Need.[4]

Garrett is a member of the board of the English National Opera. In 2002, she was awarded the CBE for her services to music. She performed at the FA Cup Final final at the new Wembley Stadium alongside Sarah Brightman in 2007, before the match between Manchester United and Chelsea, and in 2008 alongside Katherine Jenkins before the match between Cardiff City and Portsmouth.

Television and radio

In 2004, Garrett was one of the participants in the first series of the celebrity talent contest Strictly Come Dancing, finishing third with her dance partner Anton du Beke. In the same year, she took part in the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, a genealogy documentary series, in which she journeyed through her home town of Thorne in search of her family history. Garrett was delighted to discover that the musical gene stretched far back and had run in her family for several generations.[5] Garrett is a veteran of Dictionary Corner on the Channel 4 game show Countdown and in June 2005 it was thought that she was to become one of the show's rotating guest hosts while Richard Whiteley was recovering from illness. After Whiteley's death, however, the plan for rotating guest hosts was abandoned and Des Lynam took the role for the next fifteen months. Garrett did not appear on Countdown again until October 2009.

In February 2005, Garrett was selected to be one of the judges for BBC's Comic Relief does Fame Academy, and in May she hosted and sang at the 2005 Classical BRIT Awards at the Royal Albert Hall on ITV. In 2006, Garrett was a regular panellist on the ITV daytime show Loose Women, and again in 2009-2010. Garrett also appeared on This Morning and Loose Women in 2007, to perform a song from her latest album When I Fall In Love. She also continued the post as a judge on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy in 2007.[6] Garrett currently presents a show on the British classical radio station Classic FM.

From February 2008, Garrett presented the show Lesley Garrett's 20 Operas to See Before You Die on Sky Arts.[7]

Over four weeks, beginning 30 November 2008, she presented the Sunday morning BBC1 programme Christmas Voices [8]

In November 2010, she joined a long line of panellists on Five's The Wright Stuff.

Along with Larry Lamb, Garrett presented a short BBC series entitled 'When Royals Wed' to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April 2011.

Personal life

Garrett married in May 1991: her husband, Peter,[9] is a GP in Muswell Hill. They have a son, Jeremy, and a daughter, Chloe. The family lives in north London. She is a supporter of the Labour Party, attending the 2009 Party Conference.

Discography

Solo albums

Solo DVDs

Bibliography

External links

Notes and References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1734956.stm Lesley Garrett: Doncaster's own diva
  2. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/celebrity/article.html?in_article_id=421297&in_page_id=181 Lesley Garrett
  3. Web site: The Kathleen Ferrier Awards - Winners. 2008-03-06.
  4. http://www.classicfm.com/article.asp?id=209974 Lesley Garrett on Classic FM
  5. Who Do You Think You Are? with Lesley Garrett. Who Do You Think You Are?. Who Do You Think You Are? (British TV series). BBC. BBC Two. 2004-11-30.
  6. http://www.thestage.co.uk/podcasts/2007/02/lesley_garrett_podcast_transcript.php The Stage — Lesley Garrett podcast transcript
  7. http://www.skyarts.co.uk/SkyArts/Opera/Article.aspx?artid=5315 Programme details on Sky Arts web page
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/advent/christmasvoices.shtml
  9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/fameandfortune/4798651/Fame-and-Fortune-Opera-singer-Lesley-Garrett.html
  10. Book: Roberts, David. 2006. British Hit Singles & Albums. 19th. Guinness World Records Limited. London. 1-904994-10-5. 222.