Review: Laura Wright, Ipswich Corn Exchange, March 29
- Credit: Archant
Laura Wright, Suffolk’s sporting soprano, provided an evening of effortless power and grace as she brought her first solo tour back to her home county.
Hearing Laura perform live, it is impossible not to be bowled over by the purity and clarity of her voice. She delivered song after song with such style that you were left in no doubt that this is a young performer with complete command of her craft.
We shouldn’t be surprised because, after four years at The Royal Academy of Music, she has obviously worked long and hard to get where she is now but it is the apparent ease with which she produces such musical magic that had the audience spellbound from the moment the show started.
She made a dramatic entrance from the back of the hall singing O Euchari In Leta Via, the lead track off her new CD, Sound of Strength. Backed by three standout musicians, during the first half she sang songs from her first two albums The Last Rose and Glorious before devoting the second half of the evening to music from the latest album.
The two halves provided an interesting contrast and gave an impressive demonstration of both the simplicity and the power that Laura can invest in a performance.
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The highlights of the first part of the show included The Last Rose of Summer, I Vow To Thee My Country, Race To The End (Chariots of Fire) and a stunning Benedictus. Backed by a cello, violin and acoustic guitar she held a packed Grand Hall spellbound.
After the break, the three instrumentalists were complemented, but not overwhelmed, by a backing track which reflected the up-tempo, sporting nature of her latest work. The second half opened with an astonishingly powerful Agnus Dei/The Sound Of Strength, followed by Laura’s self-penned Invincible from The Invictus Games, Handel’s Sarabande, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor “Quasi Una Fantasia” and before ending with a triumphant Jerusalem, aided by pupils from the Alde Valley Academy in Leiston.
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During the evening there was a lot of talk about rugby and the official anthem singer for the English rugby team looked relaxed as she chatted to the audience, who, at times, seemed rather over-awed by her friendly nature and needed encouragement to respond to some of her questions.
Nevertheless by the second half they were warmed up enough to join Laura in an armchair workout which introduced everyone to the art of synchronised buttock clenching.
The evening ended with a rousing standing ovation after a moving performance of Laura’s other great rugby anthem World In Union.
This concert provided a fantastic showcase not only for Laura’s stunning vocal prowess, but also for her winning personality. Hopefully it won’t be too long before she’s back again.