By Rob Nichols
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Natalie Coyle – a young classically trained soprano singer is looking forward to supporting Blake at Billingham Forum Theatre next Wednesday (March 20).
Now a trio, the UK’s most popular Brit-Award-winning harmony group’ Blake return with a new tour for 2013, featuring songs from their latest album ‘Start Over' and introduce exciting your soprano Natalie Coyle.
Natalie has performed with the likes of Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins, Andrea Bocelli and on Britain's Got Talent supporting Susan Boyle but this is her first national tour. Natalie has a wonderful year lined up ahead with more tour dates with Blake this year and will be in and out of the studio recording her own material.
Natalie kindly spoke to me over the phone over her excitement ahead of next week’s concert. I found it a fascinating conversation and look forward to hearing Natalie in full voice next week.
Has it been interesting for you doing this tour?
Yeah, this is my first tour and obviously we’ve been going round the U.K, I’ve been touring with the Blake boys since October. The guys have won a Classical Brit Award, they’ve performed to the Queen, they’ve performed to everyone and done world tours so they’ve been fantastic mentors for me, kind of giving me advice and helping me with technique on how to perform to public. And getting a more professional outlook from people who are more established, it’s been fantastic.
Do you find that you’re very much learning from the live experiences, different audiences, different venues…
Definitely, you obviously have as a classical singer, your lessons, your classical training. I studied at Sheffield University and then I did more training when I left, you’re constantly having lessons because your voice is changing all the time and having lessons about how to use your body when performing. But when you get on stage it’s a completely different ball game, it kind of all goes out the window. But the guys have obviously been doing it for 6/7 years; they’ve been kind of helping me along and everything, which has been really kind of interesting. Every audience is different so I’m definitely being exposed.
It’s challenging but it most be a great thrill when you’re out there and getting the immediate reaction off an audience which you don’t get when you’re doing your lessons or you’re recording, you’re actually getting that applause and those cheers back…
Yeah, it’s so different because you sing the majority of the time by yourself when you’re learning music and training and you can slug away at it. So it’s great when you do loads of concerts because you’re like ‘Oh wait I am doing the right thing’ and people are so happy and you get the praise which is fantastic but that doesn’t come without the hours of work you have to do to get there.
Do you find that people like Katherine Jenkins and Susan Boyle who have become household names help you to make your path in the same way?
Definitely, before Katherine Jenkins the classical cross-over market didn’t exist really, it wasn’t so commercial and it wasn’t so known. Whereas now because of people like Katherine Jenkins, she has such a well established career so she is a fantastic person to look on because she has done everything. I have met her numerous times and she’s incredibly nice and gives lots of helpful tips and advice. I think most classical singers would have to look at her career because she’s done so well.
She’s done awful lot of television hasn’t she, and been able to do the celebrity thing and present other sorts of TV…
Yeah I think because she’s worked so hard as a singer and she is so talented so she’s been able to move between. I think when you’re training with any sort of singing; (I’ve done a lot of dance and everything) you get used to performing so I think that’s why she’s crossed over to so many other avenues and why she’s so good at it because if you’re performing you should be able to sort of dip onto everything.
Do you see any differences in audiences in different areas?
Yeah, definitely. It depends on different towns and everything, you have to have a gauge on it and it can be terrifying but it can be exciting when you get it right.
What’s it like actually waiting for the curtain to go up or the lights to go on, do you get a real buzz?
Well, it’s really nerve racking because I come in the middle of the first half and again in the middle of the second half. So I’m really lucky that the boys warm up the audience for me, so I’m not just going on stone cold. But definitely before you go on stage you’re like ‘Oh gosh, is everything how it’s supposed to be?’ but as the dates go on you are able to enjoy it more because you know that you have done it so many times before that you can just enjoy the performance.
I haven’t seen the performance, what can we look forward to? Because I know Blake in their latest album are doing a range of songs now…
I think at the moment it’s been a slow progression. But it’s been an interest for classical singers because they’ve been so well trained to do various genres and I think throughout the Blake concert they’ve kept it really modern. There’s something for everyone, so if you’re old classical there’s a bit of Opera, there’s a bit of Pop but they are all beautifully sung so I think there is definitely a market for the cross genre at the moment.
Are you actually performing with Blake or solo?
I do both, I do a mixture of musical and opera. I do You’ll Never Walk Alone from Rodgers and Hammerstein, which obviously everyone knows because it’s the Liverpool football anthem. And then I come on at the end for the finale, that’s quite exciting, we do Jerusalem and we usually have a choir so it’s a big thing at the end.
You say it’s a big learning experience, and that’s a big difference as well singing with a choir…
Yeah it’s been a huge difference because when I first started my career I did a lot of backing and I was a member of the choir and did a lot of things at Royal Albert Hall. So actually having a choir behind you is so exciting because you have this massive sound. But I’ve been quite lucky that I’ve had Blake and they’ve always had a choir and then I switched on Kings Road Christmas lights and I had a choir for that, so it’s been really fantastic to have the background of noise.
Natalie Coyle appears with Blake at Billingham Forum Theatre on Wednesday 20th March To book call: 01642 552663 or http://forumtheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873488286/events
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