'A special memory' - Soprano Laura Wright reflects on 2009 Ipswich performance

Laura Wright leads the crowd in My Way at Portman Road in 2009

Laura Wright leads the crowd in My Way at Portman Road in 2009 - Credit: Andy Abbott

Suffolk soprano Laura Wright — known for performances at the FA Cup final, British Grand Prix and Twickenham — opened up to Suffolk students last week about singing at Portman Road for the first time.

The 30-year-old grew up in Framsden and attended Framlingham College, and has become a familiar face performing at some of the country's biggest sporting events.

One of her performances for Ipswich Town supporters was in September 2009, when she sang at the Ipswich vs Newcastle United league match where the North Stand was renamed as the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

Framlingham's Laura Wright found fame in opera singing at Portman Road

Framlingham's Laura Wright has recalled her performance at Ipswich Town in 2009 - Credit: Robin Boot

It was the first game after his death aged 76 and Laura described the experience as a "very special memory".

The former All Angels singer met a group of lucky students from West Suffolk College last week as part of a series of talks to celebrate culture and diversity in the arts — previous events have focussed on careers, mental health and wellbeing.

When asked about that poignant performance at Portman Road all those years ago, she said: “It was my first experience of music and sport coming together. It was incredible.

"When I started singing, I didn’t want to be anywhere else. It was a very special memory.”

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Business students interviewed about her lockdown, charity work, and career, where she said a highlight was performing at the Royal Opera House in front of her family where she made "the people that I love proud".

Laura Wright was interviewed by West Suffolk College business students Ella Nunn and Joshua William

Laura Wright was interviewed by West Suffolk College business students Ella Nunn and Joshua William - Credit: West Suffolk College

Laura also discussed the time two microphones failed her during the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in Australia.

“The orchestra carried on and we just got on with it," she said.

"It’s moments like that I really miss. Those things happen and you just get on with it,” she said.

In terms of lockdown, she talked about the impact and value that music can bring to your life and conducted a quick singing exercise for everyone in the group.

Laura also explained the work that she had undertaken for various charitable organisations during lockdown, describing her wellbeing work with NHS staff, stroke survivors, people with long COVID, veterans with PTSD, teenagers with arthritis, isolated children and adults, people living with dementia — all of whom found singing to be a universal healer.

Business student and one of the interviewers, Joshua Williams, said: “The culture and diversity event was informative and give an insight into the life of Laura and her thoughts on current issues surrounding the arts in relation to Covid.”

Business lecturer Mike Opukah organised the event with Laura Wright

Business lecturer Mike Opukah organised the event with Laura Wright - Credit: West Suffolk College

Mike Opukah is a business lecturer and organiser. He said: “Laura’s talk was insightful and honest and we would like to thank her for supporting us.”

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