International soprano Rebecca Caine has enjoyed a wonderfully varied career in both musical theatre and opera.
The singer is interpreting some of the most interesting classical and contemporary musical theatre writers in a concert, Dividing Day, which is touring the British Isles.
Rebecca, with Nathan Martin at the piano, will be performing at the Villa Marina Arcade on Tuesday, February 20.
Rebecca told Island Life: ‘I’ve been very lucky to have done both.
‘I always wanted to be an opera singer but after leaving the Guildhall School of Music early, at 19, I was immediately employable in musicals. I loved them as well.
‘Good singing and good music is the same, no matter what the genre.’
Rebecca created the role of Cosette in Les Miserables for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which she describes as a ‘gift that has become even more over time’.
‘To be a part of something so beloved to this day is an honour,’ she said.
And she has enjoyed many operatic highlights: ‘Crossing from West End musicals to the English National Opera was a terrific accomplishment and of the roles I sang, Lulu, Gilda and The Vixen were favourites plus Hanna in The Merry Widow was a combination of everything I’ve learned.’
Asked how easy it is to make the transition between musical theatre and opera, she said: ‘For me because of my sound and look it was easy.
‘Both musical theatre and opera regard each other with suspicion.
‘The theatre people assume you can’t act and the opera people that you can’t sing when really the two feed each other and gave me a wonderful training. I’ve found the best people, the ones I want to work with, see that and didn’t discriminate.’
Rebecca recently received rave reviews for her performances in The Light In The Piazza in the United States and Conor Mitchell’s Abomination at London’s Southbank Centre.
‘One of the struggles of getting older as a woman onstage is that the roles become fewer and smaller,’ she said.
‘Abomination by the amazing Conor Mitchell was a stunning piece written for my voice. Iris Robinson, the role I played, was a very prominent DUP politician who said during a live radio that she believed homosexuality was an abomination and went against God.
‘She was later revealed to be having an affair with a teenager boy. It is a nuanced portrait of a complicated woman of a certain age and that’s rare in musicals and opera.’
Musical director and pianist Nathan Martin put the programme for Dividing Day together after watching Abomination.
Rebecca says it reflects on ‘a life lived and still being lived as a woman in this age’.
It’s described as a ‘journey of self-discovery with help from writers including Bernstein, Bucchino, Guettel, La Chiusa, Sondheim, Weill and Yeston’.
Rebecca spoke up about the misogyny and gendered violence she received on and offstage in the 1990s.
‘I realised history was about to repeat itself and spoke up on social media for over a year,’ she said.
‘Everyone has a right to go to work without being frightened and hurt.
‘We are so replaceable in show business. I felt in a position to speak up. I do not want young women to go through what I did.’
Dividing Day takes place at the Villa Marina Arcade on February 20 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the box office on 600555 or online at www.villagaiety.com