Opera star Cheryl Forbes is looking forward to coming home this Christmas, to return to the stage where she has spent many festive seasons.
In a change from the international venues she is used to performing in, the former Graeme High pupil will be guest soloist in the Bairns Christmas Concert next month,
Former Falkirk Children’s theatre member Cheryl took part in many pantos as a child, before going on to perform in the same arena with Falkirk Festival Chorus - who will also sing in this concert, alongside the Falkirk Caledonia Choir, accompanied by Falkirk Tryst Orchestra.
The whole event is conducted by Bob Tait.
Mezzo soprano Cheryl said: “I am really looking forward to singing in Falkirk this Christmas.
“I still associate Christmas with Falkirk Town Hall - even after all these years so it will really be like coming home. “It’s 21 years since I last sang with Falkirk Festival Chorus when I was their guest in the 1992 Bairns Christmas.
“I was in my first year at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the time but had only just left the chorus the previous summer before heading South to London.
“This time, however, I get to bring my husband Gordon (Cree) who will accompany me on piano.
“Gordon is well-known to music lovers throughout Scotland so he will have a few fans there of his own, I’m sure.
“Bob and Christine Tait were a huge inspiration to me as a young musician and therefore it’s especially lovely to be back working with them again and seeing lots of old friends in the choir.
“I’ve already been inundated with messages from friends in Falkirk (many I haven’t seen in years) to say they’re coming along to the concert - the perfect start to Christmas!”
One of Cheryl’s pieces in the concert will be Habanera from Bizet’s opera, Carmen.
She will also be singing with the choirs and orchestra as well as being accompanied in a selection of Christmas favourites by husband Gordon.
The performance will be a particularly poignant one for Cheryl as she lost her nana this summer.
Cheryl added: “My nana was so proud of me and always used to come to my concerts with the Festival Chorus when I was young so I will be singing especially for her.”
Carols by John Rutter, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride are also featured in the programmes as are two world premiers.
Joseph’s Lullaby by John Bell and Gloria in Excelsis written specially for the occasion by Father Simon Hughes, who as well as being a priest in St Francis Xavier’s is also a highly gifted musician.
Conductor and organiser Bob Tait said: “The tickets are selling like hot cakes for this musical Christmas extravaganza which has been going strong for over 30 years. Audience participation, with the thrill of singing with the backing of a full symphony orchestra, and carols old and new for choir and orchestra ensure that there is something for everyone.
“One of the highlights each year, is the children singing Away in a manger with orchestral accompaniment.”
There are two performances in Falkirk Town Hall on Sunday, December 22 at 2.30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets are now available in the Steeple Box Office in Falkirk High Street or by calling (01324) 506850.