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Connie Fisher
Born 17 June 1983 (1983-06-17) (age 26)
Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Genres Pop, musicals
Instruments Singing
Years active 2006–present
Website www.conniefisher.co.uk

Connie Fisher (born 17 June 1983) is a British[1] actress and singer, who won the BBC One talent contest, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Fisher was delighted to be named Maria: "I feel on top of the world, thanks very much. I won't let you down. Every night will be an opening night. Thanks for making my dreams come true."[2] On 15 November 2006, she opened to excellent reviews in the part of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music in the West End, London on a six-month contract, which was extended until 23 February 2008.[3] She resumed the role of Maria in The Sound of Music UK tour starting in July 2009.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

Fisher was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, and is daughter of a British Army Royal Corps of Signals major. Fisher lived in Dorset, England until the age of six, when she moved to a village near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Wales. She attended Hayscastle Junior School, and then went on to Sir Thomas Picton School. She is a fluent Welsh speaker and during the final weeks of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? she recorded several interview pieces for Radio Cymru.[4]

During her teenage years she was a member of Haverfordwest Operatic Society where she performed in The Pirates of Penzance and played Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. She was also a member of The Torch Youth Theatre where she performed in George Buchner's play Woyzek. She successfully became a member of National Youth Music Theatre (1999-2002), where she played Lady of the Lake in the UK Tour of Pendragon, and played the lead role, Morgan Le Fay, when the production toured Japan in 2001. From an early age Fisher was a member of Côr Newyddion Da[5] (English translation - "Good News Choir"), which introduced her to the Eisteddfodic field and encouraged her to perform as a soloist. She competed annually in the Urdd Gobaith Cymru, National and International Eisteddfods.[6] In 2002 Fisher won the Wilbert Lloyd Roberts Scholarship in the National Eisteddfod "Songs from the Shows" competition[7] and the Milford and West Wales Mercury talent competition.[8]

Fisher won a full scholarship to the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts,[9], graduating in 2005 with a First Class BA Hons degree in Musical Theatre, as well as the Gyearbuor Asante prize for the highest score. At Mountview she performed in Annie Get Your Gun, A…my name is Alice, Jerry’s Girls and played Julie Jordan in Carousel.

Career

Fisher has made television appearances on Jane McDonald's Star for a Night when she was sixteen; Owen Money’s Just Up Your Street, and BBC Children in Need.[10] She has also recorded a Welsh song called Curiad Calon (Heartbeat) which was released on the compilation album Cân i Gymru (A Song for Wales). She also released a charity single for the Noah's Ark Appeal entitled 'Eyes of a Child'.

Fisher's first professional theatre appearance was at Milford Haven Torch Theatre, Christmas 2005, where she played Princess Samina in the pantomime Aladdin. She then took the £1,000 cash prize and the Gower Trophy in the final of the 2006 Welsh Musical Theatre Young Singer of the Year Competition, held at Swansea Grand Theatre.

Before being cast as Maria, she worked in media telesales, whilst auditioning for several West End parts – often getting down to the final two but never getting the part. Fisher cites Julie Andrews and Ruthie Henshall as her musical theatre role models. She claims to be a bit of a tomboy, and says that as an only child, she is very independent.[11]

In early March 2007, she was ordered by her doctor to take two weeks' rest from The Sound of Music, after straining her vocal cords singing through a cold.[12] On her return to the show, it was announced that Fisher would be reducing her workload to six shows a week,[13] with Maria being played in the Monday evening and Wednesday matinee shows by Aoife Mulholland, one of the runners-up in How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?.

On 1 July 2007, Fisher performed alongside artists including Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Donny Osmond and Andrea Bocelli in Lloyd Webber's segment of the Concert for Diana at London's Wembley Stadium in front of 63,000 people. She also appeared at Bryn Terfel’s Faenol Festival during the August Bank Holiday weekend, 2007.[14] She also featured on the the 50th Anniversary studio recording of West Side Story, singing "Somewhere".

In October 2007, she won the 2007 lastminute.com People's Choice Theatre Award for Favourite Theatre Actress.[15] She was also awarded the whatsonstage.com Theatregoers Choice Award for London Newcomer of the Year.[16]

On Christmas Eve 2007 Fisher performed with Lee Mead and some of the other Maria and Any Dream finalists in a BBC special 'festive' reunion show called When Joseph met Maria! - celebrating both the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber BBC shows - it was recorded earlier on Dec 2nd 2007. The BBC show, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, featuring Fisher, won a prestigious international Emmy Award in New York (2007) for best non-scripted entertainment. [17]

Fisher ended her run as Maria on 23 February 2008 and was replaced by Summer Strallen.[18] It was rumoured that after her contract as Maria came to an end that she would play the lead in a Lloyd-Webber revival of Funny Girl.[19] Fisher had been due to embark on an Andrew Lloyd Webber-sponsored solo concert tour of several cities in the UK, however the tour was cancelled on 13 February 2008 due to poor ticket sales. [20] Also on 13 February 2008, it was announced that the planned Simply Bernstein concert celebrating the work of composer Leonard Bernstein, which Fisher was part of, had been cancelled. The event was due to run for five performances from 4 to 6 April 2008 at Cadogan Hall.[21]

In 2008 Fisher co-starred with Alistair McGowan in a revival of the musical They're Playing Our Song at the Menier Chocolate Factory. [22] Also, in November Fisher appeared in concerts at Truro Cathedral and at the Great Fosters Hotel in Surrey [23]

On 11 December 2008 Fisher appeared in The Christmas Sparkler Concert at The Royal Festival Hall London and sang the Welsh lullaby "Suo Gan", but she had to pull out of the second song, which was supposed to be a duet of "O Holy Night" with Jonathan Ansell, as she had to go to The London Palladium to introduce an act for The Royal Variety Performance.

Also in December 2008, Fisher appeared with her mother in an episode of Bargain Hunt, Famous Finds. She also starred in her first TV drama. Caught In A Trap aired on ITV1 on 26 December - in it she plays a young woman with an Elvis Presley obsession. Her second solo album, Secret Love, was released on 23 February 2009.

It was announced on 25 November that Fisher is to return to the role of Maria for the UK touring production of The Sound of Music.[24]

In April 2009, Fisher's "Secret Love" UK Tour was cancelled in order for her to undergo an operation on her vocal cords. She suffers from "congenital fusion anomalies", a condition that she has had since birth. According to her doctor, "Effectively how Connie Fisher has ended up having a singing career is nothing short of miracle".[25]

Between Monday 1 June and Friday 5 June 2009, Fisher guest presented the Scottish lifestyle show The Hour, alongside the show's main host Stephen Jardine.

The UK Tour of The Sound of Music, starring Fisher, began previews in Cardiff, Wales on the 26th of July, 2009.

In August 2009, Fisher was made a member of the Gorsedd at the 2009 National Eisteddfod in Bala, Gwynedd.[26]

Personal life

Fisher had been in a relationship with former British Army soldier Neal Williams (born 1978), who served in Iraq in the 14th signal regiment. On November 19, 2006 the News of the World alleged that Fisher and sound number 2 Leigh Davies from the Sound of Music had been having a relationship. Fisher has repeatedly denied these allegations. [27] [28]

In 2008, after her relationship with Mr Williams had ended, Fisher briefly met international banker Jeremy Reed at Cardiff Central railway station, when both were travelling. Reed gained Fisher's contact details via a mutual friend, and the pair started dating. The couple became engaged in July 2009 after Reed proposed over a meal in Barry, South Wales.[29]

Discography

Favourite Things

On 9 October 2006, Fisher released her debut album, Favourite Things which featured the following tracklisting:

  1. 'Maybe This Time'
  2. 'Natural Woman'
  3. 'Dance The Dance'
  4. 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend'
  5. 'No Matter What'
  6. 'Shout'
  7. 'All The Love I Have'
  8. 'All That Jazz (With Helena Blackman and Siobhan Dillon)
  9. 'Another Suitcase In Another Hall'
  10. 'As Long As He Needs Me'
  11. 'The Sound Of Music Suite - Entr'Acte'
  12. 'The Sound Of Music Suite - My Favourite Things'
  13. 'The Sound Of Music Suite - Something Good'

[It reached #14 on the UK Album chart]

The Sound Of Music - London Palladium Cast Album

On 11 December 2006, the soundtrack to the new production of The Sound of Music, featuring Connie Fisher, Lesley Garrett and the cast of the production, was released with the following tracklisting:

  1. Preludium
  2. The Sound Of Music
  3. Maria
  4. My Favourite Things
  5. I Have Confidence
  6. Do-Re-Mi
  7. Sixteen Going On Seventeen
  8. My favourite things (Reprise)
  9. How Can Love Survive?
  10. The Sound Of Music (Reprise)
  11. The Lonely Goatherd
  12. The Grand Waltz
  13. Ländler
  14. So Long, Farewell
  15. Climb Ev'ry Mountain
  16. Entr'acte
  17. No Way To Stop It
  18. Something Good
  19. The Wedding Processional
  20. Sixteen Going On Seventeen (Reprise)
  21. Edelweiss
  22. Climb Ev'ry Mountain (Reprise)

The album was produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Nigel Wright for Really Useful Records.

Secret Love

On 23 February 2009, Fisher released her second solo album, Secret Love, which features the following tracklisting:

  1. 'I Could Have Danced All Night'
  2. 'Secret Love'
  3. 'Next Time You Fall In Love' (featuring Lee Mead)
  4. 'True Love Ways'
  5. 'When She Loved Me'
  6. 'I Guess I'll Miss The Man'
  7. 'You Must Love Me'
  8. 'Someone To Watch Over Me'
  9. 'Make Up My Heart'
  10. 'If I Ever Fall In Love Again'
  11. 'Memory'
  12. 'If Love Were All'
  13. 'First Impression Counts'

References

  1. ^ London's alive with the sound of Maria's success, Evening Standard, 17 November 2006
  2. ^ "Found: One Maria!". How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? (BBC). 16 September 2006. http://www.bbc.co.uk/maria/maria/news/2006/09/16/36415.shtml.  
  3. ^ "Press views: The Sound of Music". BBC News Online. 16 November 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6153566.stm.  
  4. ^ "Profile of Connie". Maria. pembrokeshiretv.com. 2006-09-16. http://www.pembrokeshiretv.com/content/templates/v6-article.asp?articleid=2762.  
  5. ^ Côr Newyddion Da
  6. ^ "Profile of Connie". Maria. Dunvant Male Choir. 2006-09-16. http://www.dunvant.org/connie2005.htm.  
  7. ^ "Wilbert Lloyd Roberts Scholarship in the National Eisteddfod". Winners 2005. steddfota.org. 2006-09-16. http://www.steddfota.org/ffeiliaualluniau/displayimage.php?album=7&pos=0.  
  8. ^ "Wilbert Lloyd Roberts Scholarship in the National Eisteddfod". Talent competition. Milford and West Wales Mercury. 2006-09-16. http://archive.milfordmercury.co.uk/2003/6/27/2707.html.  
  9. ^ Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts(website down)
  10. ^ "Profile of Connie". Maria. thisistheatre.com. 2006-09-16. http://www.thisistheatre.com/soundofmusic/connie-fisher.html.  
  11. ^ "Profile of Connie". Maria. BBC. 2006-09-16. http://www.bbc.co.uk/maria/marias/connie.shtml.  
  12. ^ "Connie Ordered to Rest". Maria. Andrew Lloyd Webber. 2007-03-06. http://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/sections/news/newsdb.php?article=51&section=news.  
  13. ^ "Mulholland is Maria number two". London Theatre Guide. Society of London Theatre. 2007-03-06. http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/display?contentId=93287.  
  14. ^ Bryn Terfel | Faenol Festival 2008
  15. ^ "The People's Choice: winners revealed". Maria. lastminute.com. 2007-10-11. http://sftw.lastminuteliving.com/something_for_the_weekend/2007/10/the-peoples-cho.html.  
  16. ^ "The 2007 Winners". Maria. whatsonstage.com. 2007-09-02. http://awards.whatsonstage.com/index.php?pg=438.  
  17. ^ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | British shows scoop Emmy awards
  18. ^ Nathan, John (2008-01-04). "Lloyd Webber Solves Maria Problem – Again". Playbill.com. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/113974.html. Retrieved 2008-01-05.  
  19. ^ Martin, Francesca (2007-03-27). "Funny Girl plan for Connie Fisher". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). http://arts.guardian.co.uk/theatre/news/story/0,,2065112,00.html.  
  20. ^ Connie Fisher concerts axed due to poor ticket sales | Mail Online
  21. ^ "Photos: Connie Fisher Does Bernstein After Music". Simply Bernstein. www.whatsonstage.com. 2008-01-23. http://www.whatsonstage.com/index.php?pg=207&story=E8821201107470&title=Photos%3A+Connie+Fisher+Does+Bernstein+After+Music.  
  22. ^ "Fisher & McGowan Play Our Song for Menier, 4 Aug". They're Playing Our Song. www.whatsonstage.com. 2008-06-23. http://www.whatsonstage.com/index.php?pg=207&story=E8821214184492&title=Fisher+%26+McGowan+Play+Our+Song+at+Menier%2C+4+Aug.  
  23. ^ "An Evening With Connie Fisher". An Evening With Connie Fisher. 2008-11-09. http://www.prestige-promotions.co.uk.  
  24. ^ Connie Fisher Returns to Tour The Sound of Music
  25. ^ Connie Fisher Show Postponed
  26. ^ "Gorsedd honour for female stars". BBC Wales. 2009-06-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8113614.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-03.  
  27. ^ "Doh, Lay Me!". Maria. The Sun. 2006-11-20. http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006530886,00.html.  
  28. ^ "The year I nearly lost my voice for good". The Evening Standard. 2007-12-18. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/article-23428402-details/The+year+I+nearly+lost+my+voice+-+for+good/article.do.  
  29. ^ "'I am deliriously happy': Connie Fisher engaged to the love she met on a train station platform". Daily Mail. 2009-07-29. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1203520/I-deliriously-happy-Connie-Fisher-engaged-love-met-train-station-platform.html#ixzz0N7kCgdPl. Retrieved 2009-08-03.  

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