Lesley Garrett CBE
Lesley Garrett, CBE, is Britain's most popular soprano, regularly appearing in both opera and in concert, on television and CD; she has won both critical acclaim and the affection of many fans and music lovers.
- Lesley continues to be a regular guest on ITV's Loose Women
- Lesley was nominated for 'Best Supporting Actress in a Musical' for the 2010 What's On Stage Awards' for her performance as Nettie Fowler in 'Carousel'
As a recording artist, she has eleven solo CDs to her credit; Soprano in Red received the Gramophone Award for 'Best-selling Classical Artist of the Year', Diva! A Soprano At The Movies, Prima Donna, Simple Gifts, Soprano in Red, Soprano in Hollywood and I Will Wait for You all received silver discs and A Soprano Inspired and Lesley Garrett both achieved gold discs. Recent albums are Travelling Light, The Singer, So Deep is the Night, When I Fall in Love, and a new album Amazing Grace will be released in November 2008. She was also a featured artist on the platinum selling Perfect Day single released by the BBC in aid of Children in Need.
Lesley's major television appearances include 'Lesley Garrett...Tonight' for the BBC featuring Lesley and guest artists as diverse as Renee Fleming and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Marti Pellow, Michel Legrand and Elaine Paige. The series continued as 'The Lesley Garrett Show' featuring programmes from Naples, Seville and New York with guest artists Marcello Alvarez, Ian Bostridge, Alison Moyet, Michael Ball, Maxim Vengerov and Joshua Bell. Other BBC television appearances have included the documentary 'Jobs for the Girls' with Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke, 'Viva la Diva' and 'The Lily Savage Show'. Lesley was also the subject of a South Bank Show on LWT and her music programmes continued on the BBC with 'The Singer', a specially filmed Christmas concert featuring Lesley and guest artists Jose Cura and Sibonglie Khumalo and 'Sacred Songs' featuring sacred music from around the world. Music from the album So Deep is the Night was made into a film titled 'Lesley Garrett - Desert Dreams'.
Lesley's operatic career included early engagements at the Wexford Festival, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera before joining English National Opera in 1984. During her time with ENO, Lesley starred in many productions and won critical acclaim for her portrayals of both comic and serious roles. Lesley made her Royal Opera debut in their production of The Merry Widow in 1997. Most recently she returned to the Coliseum in the spring of 2001 for a revival of her acclaimed Rosina in Rossini's 'Barber of Seville', having first performed it there in 1998. She is now a member of the ENO's Board of Directors.
Internationally Lesley has performed throughout Europe, the USA , Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.
For Millennium Eve, Lesley sang opera and pop classics with Bryan Ferry, The Eurythmics and Mick Hucknall in the grounds of the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to celebrate the arrival of the new century. In 2000 her autobiography 'Notes from a Small Soprano' was published by Hodder and Stoughton and during that year she appeared at the first-ever Classical Brit Awards, a gala fundraising concert and musical celebration for Dame Elizabeth Taylor and performed the very last Abide With Me at the 2000 FA Cup Final (prior to the closure of Wembley Stadium) in aid of the NSPCC. In 2003, Lesley joined the radio station, Classic FM as a weekly presenter with her own show on Saturday evenings.
In January 2004, Lesley took part in the inauguration ceremony for Cunard's Queen Mary 2 before travelling to Australia for concerts at the renowned Leeuwin Winery with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and guest artist, Anthony Warlow. The concerts were such a success that she returned to Australia in 2005 for a concert tour with Anthony. Also in 2004 Lesley was invited to be one of the celebrity dancers on the BBC1 hit show 'Strictly Come Dancing', together with her professional dance partner, Anton Du Beke, she reached the semi-finals of the competition. In the autumn she sang the role of The Fox in Rachel Portman's new opera, 'The Little Prince', filmed for BBC2 and took part in BBC2's series 'Who Do You Think You Are?'. In February 2005 Lesley was invited to be one of the judges for BBC's 'Comic Relief Does Fame Academy' and in May she both sang at and hosted the 2005 Classical Brit Awards at the Royal Albert Hall and on ITV. In the autumn, Lesley took the title role in Welsh National Opera's new production of 'The Merry Widow' which toured the UK. In spring 2006 Lesley joined ITV's hit show Loose Women as a regular weekly panellist and in the autumn she joined the cast of 'The Sound of Music' as the Mother Abbess.
In 2007, Lesley returned as a judge to 'Comic Relief Does Fame Academy' and continued in the 'The Sound of Music' before touring the UK with her own gala concerts. In the autumn she presented a new series for BBC 1 'Christmas Voices' which is planned to return to the BBC in 2008 whilst Lesley joined a new production of 'Carousel' in the West End in the role of Nettie.
Lesley was awarded a CBE in the 2002 New Year's Honours List for Services to Music.
Lesley is available with a pianist, her band or a full orchestra.