About Rebecca

Rebecca NewmanRebecca began her musical journey at the tender age of 14, when she played Julie Jordan in 'Carousel', at Exmouth Pavilion. Using the money she made during the summer holidays while washing dishes in a pub kitchen she began singing training with a local teacher, Mary Burman, with whom she passed her singing grades 5, 7 and 8. She even secured her first paid booking at 15, when she sang at a wedding in Woodbury, Devon. The couple, Andy and Kerrie, are still going strong!

During her teenage years she took part in school productions of Guys and Dolls and The Tempest, and shows in the local area including Puss in Boots, Merrie England and various concerts, including performing at The Royal Albert Hall with her local theatre group Centre Stage. Her biggest achievement was when she auditioned for the National Youth Music Theatre and won a place in their production of Warchild, when she was 15. Very few people from her school had achieved this and it stood her apart from her contemporaries as someone on a path to the top of her game with a very bright future ahead.

Following her A Levels, however, Rebecca started working for a company in Exeter, in order to save up money for studying acting and voice at university, but quickly found herself climbing the career ladder. It wasn't until Rebecca moved to London with the same company that she started performing again, and performed at Her Majesty's Theatre, in London's West End, and in a production of Chess in Surrey. At this time, it was still a hobby, but when she moved to York to study Philosophy Politics and Economics at the University of York, she won the title role in Princess Ida, by Guilbert & Sullivan, within her first week there.

Rebecca NewmanShe began singing lessons again, with a local Early Music Society legend, Yvonne Seymour, and began tentative steps into earning money from her musical skills. She set herself up as a wedding singer and started 'busking' in York, outside The Minster or Betty's Tearooms.

In September 2005, Rebecca released her first CD 'Music Box, which featured a cross-section of her repertoire of Italian arias, French art songs, sacred arias and folk songs. This CD sold very well and was not replaced until October 2008, when she released her best-selling CD 'Cantare', which is still available now and has sold over 8,000 copies.

In 2008, Rebecca has a series of health scares with her voice. Worried she had damaged her voice from singing outside in the elements so much, she attended the Nuffield Hospital for investigation. It turned out to be a simple condition that is very common among classical singers and she was given medication and a lifestyle overhaul to control it. She began singing training with Lynne Dawson, the international soprano who was the soloist at Princess Diana's funeral, who Rebecca began to make swift progress with at their monthly lessons.

Rebecca NewmanRebecca has enjoyed exploring the world of performing over the past few years; She recreated the role of Julie Jordan in Carousel with Harrogate Operatic Players in 2009, which was staged at The Royal Hall, Harrogate. A wonderful show that was very well received, and fulfilled a long-held desire Rebecca had to revist the role again. That same year she also joined forces with a tenor to perform at Headingley Stadium in front of a crowd of 20,000 to open a Leeds Rhinos rugby league game and to perform at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with the Scottish Festival Orchestra and the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland in front of over 1700 people. She appeared on local radio, was featured on ITV1 and won a competition to sing at The National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony at the Harrogate International Centre, hosted by Lenny Henry. She was invited back by the hosts, the Learning and Skills Council, the following year for their 2010 awards, hosted by the BBC's Harry Gration and Christa Ackroyd. She released her third CD 'Memory' in the summer of 2009, showing off the show songs she so often performed alongside the operatic arias. In 2010 she released a Christmas CD 'O Holy Night' featuring some local musicians.

Her first CD, Music Box, was discontinued, and she focused her attention on her three latest CDs, from which 50p was donated to Childline. To date, she has raised well over £7,000 for the charity, which is now part of the NSPCC, through CD sales and fundraising events.

Rebecca NewmanIn 2011, Rebecca hosted her first major concert at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, in York. She featured a 'classical' six piece band and a harpist, and the show was a big success for her, marking a milestone in her career of moving from a 'singer for hire' to a singer with a following! Shortly before the concert, she began singing lessons with a new teacher, as she had finished lessons with Lynne over a year earlier due to Lynne's work commitments. Her new teacher, Anne-marie Czajkowski, based in Leeds, has been training Rebecca with almost weekly lessons. As a result, Rebecca's voice is improving beyond anything Rebecca could ever have dreamed of, with a beautiful lyrical soprano tone and top notes coming through along with the confidence to sing ever more challenging arias.

Rebecca made her debut at the Scarborough Spa in Christmas 2011, as the guest soloist for the annual 'Christmas Spectacular' and released a new CD, 'Fields of Gold' in November, showing off a beautiful and haunting selection of lighter music, as made famous by singers like Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones and Adele.

In 2012-13, Rebecca was extremely busy already! She headlined the Lord Mayor's Charity Gala Concert at the Theatre Royal, in York, to a full house, followed by hosting another concert at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre on 2nd June. She was booked for many Jubilee events including opening the evening entertainment in Hull's Queen's Gardens before the Jubilee concert was broadcast to the park, and being the Guest Soloist for the Consett Citizen's Choir's annual concert at the Empire Theatre, Consett. In late 2012, into spring 2013, Rebecca undertook her first UK tour, called 'Coast to Coast', and raised money for the RNLI in the process, winning her the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the RNLI. This tour took in over twenty venues across the country. Rebecca has continued bringing music out onto the streets across the UK in her "roadshow" style performances, organised with local councils and shopping centres. In doing so, she has managed to sell over 15,000 albums and entertain hundreds of thousands of people with her talents. Keep an eye out for her on your high street!
In 2013, Rebccca began working on her new album, called Dare to Dream, featuring the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted and arranged by Paul Bateman, and produced by Gareth William and James Fitzpatrick. Also in 2013 Rebecca shared the stage with Aled Jones, on his Cathedral tour, and Russell Watson, at Party in the Park in East Yorkshire, as well as performing live on television for the Rugby League World Cup 2013, singing the anthems for six different teams across three matches.
In 2014, Rebecca released her album Dare to Dream, which shot straight to the top of the Official UK Classical Albums Chart. This was the first time in history that a self-released artist had achieved this. Rebecca made her first appearance on BBC1's Songs of Praise and performed for BBC Radio 2's Chorister of the Year as a special guest at St Paul's Cathedral, which was broadcast on the station. In 2015 she joined Russell Watson on his 50 date tour as his special guest, made another appearance on Songs of Praise sang with Alfie Boe at his open air concert in Leeds. In July 2015, she featured BBC Radio 2 with the late Sir Terry Wogan to perform two songs and be interviewed, which saw her album return to the charts. After headlining the Castle Howard Proms, she rounded off the year with some tour dates with the classical-crossover group G4 in the autumn.
In 2016, Rebecca hosted her own summer tour and appeared as the special guest soprano for Bedford Proms and an open air proms style concert in Widmerpool, with Blake. Rebecca fell pregnant in late 2016, and on Valentine's Day 2017 she announced to her supporters that she would be having her first child that summer. At 8 months pregnant, Rebecca performed with international tenor Joseph Callejah at the V&A Musuem in London for a special charity gala dinner. In July, Rebecca performed for The York Proms, a new picnic concert she had co-founded with her husband, shortly before taking a career break to have her baby. 
Rebecca has scaled back her public performances since becoming a mum and has focused on making a success of the York Proms picnic concert, which has just held it's third concert, but plans are on-going for her next album release and public performances are listed on the Live Dates page whenever they are available. Rebecca now performs at more private engagments than she was able to in previous years due to touring and recording commitments, which fit well around family life.

You can read more about Rebecca's recent news here, and find out about upcoming shows and events you can attend here.




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