Choir honoured to sing with opera star

Lesley Garrett performs with Hartlepool Male Voice Choir and (inset) leaves the stage to a standing ovation

Lesley Garrett performs with Hartlepool Male Voice Choir and (inset) leaves the stage to a standing ovation

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THE secretary of a popular choir has said it was an honour to sing with a world-famous opera star.

Soprano Lesley Garrett received a standing ovation from the 840-strong crowd (right) who packed into The Borough Hall, on the town’s Headland on Saturday, after hearing her sing with the Hartlepool Male Voice Choir.

Choir secretary Mick Waller said: “Lesley said she really enjoyed it and that she’d love to come back to Hartlepool. She said the people were very warm and made her feel very welcome and that the Borough Hall was a fantastic place to sing.”

He added: “She was great. As soon as she walked in the atmosphere was very special. We loved it, she loved it, and the public loved it. They gave her a standing ovation so she sang them another song, Bless This House, which wasn’t planned.

“It was an absolute honour to perform with her and we would love her to come back one day.”

The choir traditionally signs up top stars for their shows and Ms Garrett followed last year’s performance with Russell Watson and the 2009 show with Aled Jones.

Lesley has appeared in operas, concerts, and on television, and has 11 solo CDs to her name.

She performed two 25-minute slots with songs including You’ll Never Walk Alone, made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Antonin Dvorak-inspired Going Home.

She has performed throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

The choir was established in 1958 and has more than 60 members, aged from 23 to 85, who rehearse weekly in The Corner Flag pub, outside Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park.