North Shropshire News

Top line-up announced for Shropshire’s Proms and Prosecco in the Park

Top line-up announced for Shropshire’s Proms and Prosecco in the Park
British soprano Mary-Jess Leaverland – winner of the Chinese ‘X-Factor’ – is to headline Shropshire’s Proms and Prosecco in the Park 2018.

Announcing the line-up of classical singers and performers, organisers have also revealed that international electric-acoustic ensemble String Infusion will also take to the stage on September 8 and operatic tenor Jack Foley will also return due to popular demand.

The classical music event at Chetwynd Deer Park in Newport will once again coincide with the Last Night of the Proms and is set to attract thousands of prom-goers from across Shropshire and neighbouring counties.

Headline act Mary-Jess is an official Downton Abbey songstress and is currently on tour with the kings of ‘popera’ G4.

A representative of British music in 144 countries across the globe as part of the UK Government’s GREAT Britain campaign, the English, Chinese speaking classical singer was projected into the limelight after winning China’s ‘I Want to Sing to the Stars’ show in 2009.

Otherwise known as the Chinese ‘X-Factor,’ Mary-Jess sang in her second language in front of 70 million television viewers to be crowned champion of the talent contest.

Since winning the competition, she has toured with Russell Watson, performed with Sir Tim Rice and Don Black, sang to royalty in Windsor Castle, appeared on numerous TV programmes both in the UK and in China, and was chosen to sing the Downton Abbey theme tune.

She also performed at the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium singing ‘Abide With Me’ in front of a live audience of 90,000 people and a worldwide television audience of 300 million people.

Her debut album ‘Shine’ won both ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ from classical-crossover.co.uk.

As well as her own album, she has also featured on nine other albums including the Rugby World Cup ‘World in Union’ album and the UK Classical Number 1 album ‘Dare to Dream’ by Rebecca Newman.

The young singer will be joined at the event by UK quartet, String Infusion - a vibrant, all female ensemble playing a mix of acoustic and electric strings.

The group, which has performed at events and venues all over the UK including the O2 Arena and the X-Factor studio as well as harmonising with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, are renowned for their pop/rock/classical crossover style of music.

Tenor Jack Foley, who performed at last year’s Proms and Prosecco in the Park and wowed prom-goers when he joined soprano Emily Haig on stage to sing ‘World in Union’ and other popular operatic standards, will also return to Shropshire for the event.

Foley, who has been invited back by organisers due to popular demand, has performed with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden Carl Rosa Opera Company and Grange Park Opera as well as starring in musicals across Britain and internationally.

Prom-goers will no doubt be hoping for another magical evening of surprises but event organiser Esther Wright, director of Newport-based Fizz Festivals, said she would be remaining tight lipped on the full programme details for just a little longer.

“What we can say however, is that this year’s proms and Prosecco in the Park is going to be another spectacular event with beautiful music, plenty of fizz and a very relaxed family atmosphere.

“We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Mary-Jess to the stage. She has an exceptional voice and her stunning arrangements will fill the park with glorious music suitable for all ages.

“We’re also thrilled Jack Foley will be returning by popular demand and we are very excited about String Infusion, who we know will captivate this year’s audience with their performance.

“There will of course be an exciting programme of British classics in-keeping with the traditional music you would expect to hear at the Last Night of the Proms and once again, we are encouraging prom-goers to pack their picnic baskets full of goodies, dig out the picnic blankets and candelabras and gather their friends and family together for a wonderful afternoon and evening of entertainment.”

Joining the top-line up of acts will also be a number of local performers and musicians..

There will also be food and drink stalls, children’s entertainment and a dedicated Prosecco bar - new for 2018.

Esther, who also runs events management and consultancy company ElevenTen, added: “We will be revealing more details about the event over the next few weeks, but the booking office is already open to those wishing to order their tickets and take advantage of the early bird ticket prices.

“We hadn’t anticipated starting to sell tickets quite so early but demand for tickets pre-Christmas meant we opened the box office earlier than expected and so far we have seen a steady flow of sales, which is fantastic.”

Last year, around 1,600 people attended the event and organisers are expecting an even larger turn-out in 2018.

Gates will open at 2pm with music for all the family playing from 3pm until 9pm.

To book tickets visit the website www.fizzfestivals.com. Early bird tickets are available until June, priced £19 per ticket or £18 a ticket for groups of 10.


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