Rebecca Caine and Nathan Martin in perfect harmony for Dividing Day tour

For a Canadian soprano, whose father is Australian and mother English, who was brought up in England and has played in front of audiences north of the Arctic circle, it is quite refreshing to find that her best friends are all from Yorkshire.

But that is the case for the world-renowned Rebecca Caine who not only counts her friends from the Broad Acres as her closest but also says the happiest time of her life was spent in Leeds.

“It’s true,” she tells us while in London preparing for a series of shows in venues across the United Kingdom including Square Chapel in Halifax on February 10, Hull City Hall on March 12 and the National Centre for Early Music in York on March 22.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I was only thinking the other day that all my British best friends are from Yorkshire – or Northern Ireland, I’ll add – I don’t know why it is.

Rebecca Caine and Nathan Martin performing together in Dorchester Cathedral.Rebecca Caine and Nathan Martin performing together in Dorchester Cathedral.
Rebecca Caine and Nathan Martin performing together in Dorchester Cathedral.

“I do know, though, from my time working in Leeds with Opera North that the people are so friendly, honest and very funny. I loved my time working there and the people I met.”

Rebecca, aged 64, has worked around the world, which is fitting for someone who could be claimed as their own by at least four countries.

She created the role of Cosette in Les Miserables for the RSC and was a celebrated Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera in the West End and Canada.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Her operatic credits include the roles of Lulu, Vixen, Marguerite, Violetta, Susanna for companies such as English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Nice, Glimmerglass and Scottish Opera.

Rebecca Caine is playing a series of shows in Yorkshire.Rebecca Caine is playing a series of shows in Yorkshire.
Rebecca Caine is playing a series of shows in Yorkshire.

She recently received rave reviews for her performances in The Light In The Piazza in the USA and Conor Mitchell's Abomination at the Southbank Centre, and in between is occasionally found anywhere in the world taking the veil as the world’s least likely Mother Abbess.

Her latest show, entitled Dividing Day, gives her plenty to sing about, she says. The show interprets some of the most interesting classical/contemporary musical theatre writers whilst finding the frustrating relevance of music from an earlier era and struggling to find her own place in an ever-changing world.

“Dividing Day is about a woman of a certain age, navigating her way through a difficult world. It has some fantastic music by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Adam Guettel and many other fantastic composers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Over the years I have being doing so many different genres – opera, concerts and cabaret. And I think it difficult to cast, older women, there is a perception that they sound a certain way. But my voice still sounds young.

Musical director Nathan MartinMusical director Nathan Martin
Musical director Nathan Martin

“This is very much the baby of Nathan and I’m finding myself in it.”

Nathan is musical director Nathan Martin. And the Yorkshire links thicken even further.

Born and brought up in Huddersfield, Nathan has spent the majority of his working career in London since moving south aged just 18. He too has performed extensively in concert and cabaret all over the world.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Playing five solo seasons at London’s Pizza On The Park, including Facing The Music – the Fred Astaire songbook he was also seen there in Jeff Harnar’s The 1959 Broadway Songbook, Something Wonderful with Craig Rubano and Heather MacRae and Catch Us If You Can with Lee Lessack.

Rebecca Caine performing in Dorchester Cathedral.Rebecca Caine performing in Dorchester Cathedral.
Rebecca Caine performing in Dorchester Cathedral.

Other solo engagements include Jermyn Street Theatre, Covent Garden Theatre Museum, Giardini del Baraccano – Bologna, Don’t Tell Mama – NYC and for Holland America, Saga and Spirit Of Adventure cruises.

It’s quite a CV for a lad who left West Yorkshire for the bright lights of the capital.

He says returning to his home county is always special: “I always love coming back to Yorkshire. The pace of life is much calmer and the people are nicer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I don’t feel like I live there as I have been gone so long but when I see the hills and someone calls me ‘love’ I realise how much I miss it.

“I’d always wanted to work in London though and when I started performing I met the right people to continue to find work.”

Work now brings him back to Yorkshire where he expects the audiences to enjoy his brainchild – Dividing Day.

“Audiences have a big impact on a performer,” he said. “The Yorkshire audiences are always warm and welcoming – it all gets noticed on the stage.

“Often a performer will say that an audience has been ‘amazing’ or ‘the best’, but with Rebecca, she’s honest. If she says the audience has played its part then it certainly will have.”