Eager to see Diva Lesley Garrett

TICKETS to watch a world famous opera star take to the stage with a top choir are to go on sale next week.

Soprano singer Lesley Garrett CBE will be joining the Hartlepool Male Voice Choir at its summer gala concert at The Borough Hall on the town's Headland in June.

Around 400 tickets for the hugely-anticipated event are expected to sell like "hot cakes" when they go up for grabs at 30 each on Monday.

The gig will not be the first time the choir has rubbed shoulders with the stars, after last year's performance with singer Russell Watson, and their 2009 show with Aled Jones.

Duncan Graham, chairman of the 52-year-old voice choir, said: "We expect the tickets to go like hot cakes, absolutely.

"The choir is really looking forward to it because the last two concerts, with singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson, were terrifically successful.

"We hope this show is a sell out, we expect it to be anyway."

He added: "Lesley Garrett will be the third big name that we have performed with. Hopefully we'll try to keep these summer celebrity concerts going.

"It's smashing that they want to sing with us. It raises the profile of the town and the choir, it's just great.

"The Borough Hall is a great venue for an event like this as well because there's not really a bad seat in the house."

Lesley, who has appeared in operas, concerts, and on television, and has 11 solo CDs to her name, will do two slots at the town event, each 25 minutes long.

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

The Hartlepool Male Voice Choir was established in 1958 and boasts over 65 members, aged from 23 to 85, who rehearse weekly in The Corner Flag pub, outside Hartlepool United's Victoria Park.

Tickets for the performance, which starts at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 18, cost 30, with several tickets at 25 for restricted view.

Anyone interested should call the Box Office from Monday on (01429) 890000.