Opera star Lesley Garrett performs at charity concert

Doncaster diva Lesley Garrett
Doncaster diva Lesley Garrett

A special concert by international opera star Lesley Garrett has raised more than £8,000 for leading South Yorkshire dementia charity Lost Chord.

The Doncaster Diva - who originally hails from Epworth - is a patron and keen and active supporter of the organisation that provides vital interactive musical sessions for people living dementia in care homes and day centres across the region and nationally.

And she joined some of Lost Chord’s most acclaimed musicians for a fundraising evening at Doncaster’s Minster Church of St George.

On the concert platform with Lesley were sopranos Natalie Montakhab and Ella Taylor, international concert pianist Benjamin Frith and pianist Sandy Middleton, flautist Carys Gittins, harpist Alis Huws and members of the Sheffield High School Choir, supported by Claire Wallace and Heidi Rolf.

Lost Chord Chief Executive Helena Muller said the cash raised would make a huge difference.

She added: “Lesley is one of our most enthusiastic patrons and has taken part in many wonderful events but what made this evening so very special was it really did bring her back to her musical roots.

“This was an extraordinary lineup of great talent featuring some of Lost Chord’s finest professional musicians and to have Lesley join us as well made this an unforgettable evening, with a final fundraising total of £,8,500.

“That is the sort of money that really does make us feel confident that we will be able to maintain our programme of events across the region and reach out and touch the lives of so many people living with dementia.

“So not only do we appreciate the contribution of all to our musicians, the High School, Ella Taylor and Benjamin Frith but we are enormously grateful to Lesley her dedication to Lost Chord and her amazing performance on the evening”

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.

As a recording artist, Lesley has solo CDs to her credit including Soprano in Red that 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 Amazing Grace.

She was also a featured artist on the platinum selling Perfect Day single released by the BBC in aid of Children in Need. Her most recent classical recording was the role of Despina for Sir Charles Mackerras’s recording of The Magic Flute. Her most recent album is A North Country Lass.

Lesley’s major television appearances include Lesley Garrett...Tonight, The Lesley Garrett Show, The Singer, Sacred Songs and Lesley Garrett – Desert Dreams for the BBC. Other 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.

Internationally she has performed throughout Europe, the USA , Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. Lesley was awarded a CBE in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for Services to Music and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and an RAM Governor.