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Thank you for the music

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Louise Burgess thanks local – and world-class – opera singer Lucy Crowe for her alfresco performances during lockdown, which kept many in the community entertained

During the recent lockdown, many people found themselves out of work, including those working in theatres or music venues. One such musician, opera singer Lucy Crowe, along with her husband, multi-talented instrumentalist Joe Walters, decided that to continue to perform, they would need to do it locally and in the open air.

Lucy and Joe have been entertaining the locals ever since from outside their home in Wanstead, outside Derby Road and the corner of Primrose Road and Violet Road in South Woodford, and have also been busking outside Whipps Cross Hospital. They even came out in December, with Joe appearing in a Santa Claus suit! One of the residents of Primrose Road who heard Lucy’s performance said: “It was gorgeous. I had goosebumps a few times!”

From an early age, Lucy would sing along to her mum’s recordings of ABBA, Blood Brothers, Handel’s Messiah and Maria Callas’s greatest hits. Now, with a repertoire ranging from Purcell, Handel and Mozart to Donizetti’s Adina and Verdi’s Gilda, Lucy has sung with opera companies and orchestras throughout the world. But while Lucy is a fully-trained classical singer, she also sings more modern songs, such as those by The Beatles and soul classics by Aretha Franklin.

Lucy is originally from Staffordshire but has been a resident in Wanstead for nearly 10 years. She is a world-class soprano, and was recently appointed the Royal Academy of Music’s first Giulia Grisi Professor of Performance Mentoring. “I can’t wait to work closely with the students, focusing on character development, communication, emotional content and personal attainment amongst so much else, and give back what I am constantly learning, especially in these fast-developing and unprecedented times,” said Lucy.

If you want to hear Lucy perform, there are a number of ways you can do so. She appeared at the Proms in August (which can be streamed on the BBC Sounds app) singing concert aria Ah! perfido. She will also be singing at the Barbican on 12 September with the London Symphony Orchestra, and next year will appear in La bohème at the Royal Opera House. Lucy also released her debut CD in August, called Longing.

And if that whets your appetite to hear her live, and you know a local care home, hospice or hospital that would like Lucy and Joe to perform for them, please reach out. They may even be persuaded to play at your next big birthday party!

Good luck to Lucy and Joe, and thanks for entertaining and cheering us up during the recent lockdowns.

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