World-class opera singer Cheryl Forbes will fulfull two long-held ambitions when she performs in her home town at two special events next month.
The mezzo soprano, who hails from Laurieston, has performed all over the world - but she’s coming home to a concert in Laurieston’s Parish Church on September 4 to raise funds for local good causes.
It’s sad, yes, but it’s a lovely story and it’s full of the most beautiful tunesCheryl Forbes
And soon after, she is delighted to be bringing Puccini’s Madame Butterfly to the stage of Falkirk Town Hall, with the small-scale touring company Opera Bohemia on September 18.
Cheryl said: “Opera Bohemia are really wonderful. They are Scotland’s only touring theatre company and it’s fantastic the way they take opera to even remote places - recently, for example, we were playing in Plockton, which was fantastic.
“I am so pleased that we will be coming to Falkirk. I’m really excited about it and I’m really looking forward to it!”
Cheryl, a former stalwart of Falkirk Children’s Theatre who went on to gain a degree in music from the prestigious Guildhall in London, now lives in Ayrshire with her husband, the pianist and composer Gordon Cree.
But she is no stranger to her home town, visiting every week to see her mum.
However, while she has often performed locally as a guest at various concerts and reviews, this perfomance will be rather different.
“I never thought I’d be singing a full opera here, but Madame Butterfly is perfect,” she said. “It’s sad, yes, but it’s a lovely story and it’s full of the most beautiful tunes. And they are all tunes that people will be very familiar with, so it’s a very accessible opera.”
Cheryl’s Twitter account makes plain her attitude to the art form she has so successfully pursued.
She describes herself as, “From a working class family - proof that the opera world is not elitist or only for the rich and upper classes.”
Chatty and down-to-earth, she told The Falkirk Herald that while performing a full opera in her home town was a dream of hers, another forthcoming engagement is something her gran would dearly have loved to have seen.
Cheryl and husband Gordon are putting on a concert in Laurieston Parish Church to raise funds for the church itself and the Laurieston Old Folk’s Welfare hall, which is badly in need of repair.
The concert will see the couple perform a cabaret style revue and tickets are available now.
Cheryl said: “It’s funny but when my Nana was alive she was always asking me why I wasn’t singing at the parish church. It didn’t matter where in the world I performed, she’d say ‘But can you not put a concert on at the kirk?’
“Well, I’m finally doing it and the poor old soul isn’t here to see it.”
“I am always pleased to perform locally though. I have such a loyalty to Falkirk. I think you always have loyalty to your home town.”
Cheryl Forbes and Gordon Cree perform in Laurieston Parish Church on September 4. Funds raised from £5 admission will be divided between Laurieston Church and L.O.F.W.A. Tickets are available from Laurieston Old Folks coffee morning members or pay at the church door. Tea and coffee and biscuit included.
Puccini’s Madam Butterfly is presented by Opera Bohemia on September 18 in Falkirk Town Hall. For tickets, priced £14 (£12/£3 conc.), call the Steeple box office on 01324 506850.