With her album reaching number one album in the classical charts and a 50-date tour with renowned tenor Russell Watson just finished, the career of Yorkshire singer Rebecca Newman is on the crest of the wave.
And the York-based soprano, who found fame after ten years of busking, now has another major achievement under her belt after being brought on stage to duet with classical music sensation Alfie Boe.
Mrs Newman, known as ‘The People’s Soprano’, who went to number one in the Official UK Classical Albums chart last September despite being unsigned, became friends with the star after meeting him at the Classical Brits awards in 2013.
The 34-year-old told Mr Boe she was coming to see his one-off show at Millennium Square in Leeds on Friday night and was invited to come on stage and perform a duet of his song Come What May.
She said: “It was brilliant. He got in touch on Sunday and said ‘do you want to sing with me, let’s make it happen’.
“When I found myself on stage two weeks after finishing a tour with Russell Watson, and looked out to see Alfie Boe there, I felt like it was a bit of a dream. It was just fantastic because I had worked so hard for it.
“He was so friendly and down-to-earth. I had never sung the song before but it went really well. He kept looking over and giving me a reassuring smile. It was great, he was so full of energy on stage.
“The crowd were so enthusiastic. I came back to my seat and there was no sense of ‘us and them’. Alfie gave me such a lovely introduction and afterwards people were leaning over and saying ‘that was really good’.”
Mrs Newman will be performing at the Castle Howard Proms on August 22 and is set to sing on two dates of the G4 Reunion Tour, before embarking on her own tour next Spring and working on a new album.
She came to prominence after ten years of busking in Yorkshire and across the UK, and hopes to do more in the coming weeks, but says her recent success has put some unexpected obstacles in her way.
She said: “When I try to do it now, councils start to talk about crowd control, I can’t publicise that I am going to do it until a week before. Whoever goes will get treated to a guerilla gig, a pop-up performance.
“I absolutely love doing it. It is a chance to get up close and personal with people and they can get their CDs signed.”
She is also in the early stages of a community song project to raise money and awareness for the charity Socks and Chocs and would like to hear from choirs who are interested in taking part. For more information visit rebeccanewman.co.uk.