Following her sensational performance at the Opening Ceremony of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games last year, sporting soprano Laura Wright begins her first headline tour in Cardiff on March 20.
The 24-year-old mezzo soprano who shot to fame with classical choral group All Angels has sold over a million albums, and has become one of Britain’s best selling classical artists. As the first mezzo-soprano to perform at the Olympic Stadium, Laura has toured with tenors Alfie Boe and Russell Watson and opened the iTunes Festival for Andrea Bocelli. A firm fixture at sporting events, Laura sings regularly at the International rugby matches for men and women, The Six Nations at Twickenham and is the England Rugby team’s first ever-official anthem singer.
Classically trained at the Royal College Of Music, for which she received a First Degree, for her first headline tour, Laura will perform some uplifting and classical favourites from her past albums, as well as songs from her recently released album ‘Sound of Strength’ which not only shows off Laura’s classical singing prowess but also fuses together more popular, mainstream works too.
Among the songs Laura will sing in Cardiff on March 20 will be World in Union, Swing Low, Jerusalem, Nessun Dorma and Invincible, which stole the show at the Opening Ceremony of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.
Andy Howells recently spoke to Laura about the forthcoming concert.
What’s life been like since the release of The Sound of Strength?
Since the album came out and up until Christmas it was mad. I love that kind of lifestyle where you’re going to different places everyday and different performances. It’s really exciting.
How was the album received?
Really well, there's been a really positive reaction. There's always going to be the sense that it’s a different kind of vibe, a different idea. People I've spoken to have really embraced it. It’s reached a younger generation as well, which for me is really exciting. It’s exactly how I wanted it to be but there’s still more to be had there, more development and change for something that was quite new as an idea but something that was very natural to me as a progression. I’m very proud of it.
What can you tell us about your live shows?
I’ll be performing with a guitarist, violinist and a cellist and backing tracks and singing music from all three of my albums. For me this tour is a family tour, I want young and old, children, parents and grandparents and everyone to come along and enjoy the music that I’ll perform. I've chose music that are not only peoples favourites but music that has a story and you can talk about on stage.
I actually arranged and wrote quite a lot on the new album as well as Invincible which I performed at the Invictus games. It’s really been developed and its something that I'm so excited about, it allows me to open a lot of doors and to have a lot more creative freedom. Its kind of become about creating something that takes you somewhere else, creating a sound that I have in my head that transports me somewhere with a particular emotion in mind. Normally it seems to be the idea of conquering, defeating or overcoming something. It really is that idea that's motivational and it comes from my other passion which is sport, fitness and exercise, bringing that together in the sense that I need that motivation in my sporting life as well.
How are you feeling about taking your music out on tour?
I am a little apprehensive but I see that as a positive thing. I am eager to meet people and to talk to people and have that face to face relationship about my music which I'm passionate about. It will be the new stuff that I'm most nervous and excited about. There's one track (O Euchari In Leta Via), the very first track on the new album which I’ll sing at the beginning of the concert. It’s so magical, it’s just my voice alone and I think that creates a nice atmosphere.
Was it difficult to select a right balance of music for the concerts?
There's been a lot of to and fro via email as to how we'll put the set list together but it’s been very carefully chosen.
Beyond the concert tour, do you have plans for new recordings?
We are talking about that at the moment actually but for me, definetely. I’m writing new music already and obviously with the Six Nations and the rugby coming up as well there’s lots of things in the pipeline.
- Catch Laura Wright at the Royal Welsh College Of Music and Drama on March 20. Visit ticketmaster.co.uk for details.
- For more information on Laura and her music visit her official website.
- A version of this interview by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on Match 13, 2015
- Laura Wright Discusses The Sound Of Strength