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Fascinating Aida Singer Reveals London Bombing Effect & More
Award-winning singer Liza Pulman is back on the road despite a break from from comedy singing group Fascinating Aida.
She promises to bring a soundtrack of some of the most memorable movie music moments and talks about how the aftermath of being caught up in the 7/7 London bombings affected her in an interview with Weekend Notes.
Singer Liza Pulman brings the glamour and music of Hollywood to theatres across the UK
Liza Pulman Sings The Songs Of Hollywood is touring the UK in April and May stopping off in theatres around London, Southend, the West Midlands (with Malvern and Shropshire) and the south coast at Torquay.
Former opera singer Liza Pulman is touring solo this time as Fascinating Aïda takes a break (they return for a tour in 2017). This time around Pulman will be accompanied by Joseph Atkins and the Stardust Orchestra.
The show includes some of the greatest songs from the silver screen as it celebrates the golden age of Hollywood with unforgettable songs like From As Time Goes By to Moon River.
The singer, who was brought up in London but now lives in Cornwall, says: "I had a seriously misspent youth playing snooker and watching old movies! I firmly believe that the songs from these movies are in our DNA, and whether we know it or not they are part of our yesterdays and our todays, and will live on to be part of our tomorrows."
Liza Pulman says her experience in the 7/7 London bombings has shaped her attitude since.
Pulman adds: "I've always adored doing solo work and have grown to love it more and more as I've grown older. Recently, one of my Fascinating Aida colleagues needed some time off to recover from an illness, and this break seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop my own show. It's a chance for me to sing all the songs that I love."
After training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama she joined Glyndebourne Opera. From Glyndebourne, she guested with the D'Oyly Carte and Carl Rosa companies playing the leads in operettas by Offenbach and Gilbert and Sullivan.
While in musical theatre, Liza's performances have included Adrian Noble's award-winning 2002 production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium with Michael Ball and playing opposite Phillip Schofield in the UK tour of Doctor Dolittle.
Pulman recalls: "Even when I worked as an opera singer, I always played comic roles, such as the maids in Mozart's operas. I was never going to be given the part of a lyrical romantic soprano like Mimi [the tragic heroine in Puccini's opera La Bohème] because it just wasn't in my temperament. I suppose in the golden days, I'd have been a Vaudeville performer, a song-and-dance girl - that would have suited me perfectly."
She continues; "Theatre, film and music were all around me when I was growing up. My dad, who sadly died when I was 10, was a prolific screenwriter who worked on films such as Kidnapped with Michael Caine, as well as blockbuster book adaptations for the BBC including I, Claudius with Derek Jacobi and War and Peace with Anthony Hopkins.
My mum meanwhile was part of the original Theatre Workshop with Ewan McColl and Joan Littlewood, and worked on TV through the decades in Coronation Street and Last of the Summer Wine, and is still working to this day at the age of 85. So I grew up in a sea of music, words and film scripts, with a steady stream of actors, producers and directors coming in and out of the house."
Liza Pulman goes solo for the latest tour
Pulman adds: "The composers who wrote the music for the silver screen were often refugees from Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Germany who had trained as genius classical composers back home before the war. When they fled to America, they worked on Hollywood films to make a living and their phenomenal work meant that film music has always been of the very highest standard."
Pulman was caught up in the 7/7 London bombings, an experience she reveals has changed her profoundly. "You never expect to find yourself in the middle of a tragedy and you may well wonder how you would react if you did. For some extraordinary reason I was given that opportunity, and I'm glad to say that I behaved pretty well.
She adds: "I was capable and competent and not afraid. It wasn't a choice, it was just something that kicked in. Suddenly I found out a lot about myself and it changed me profoundly. Before 7/7, I think I was merely getting by. After 7/7, I was more courageous in my life. Doing a solo show takes a degree of courage and in the moments when I'm trembling with fear, I remind myself to look back and realise that I've faced worse things in the past and have survived them."
Liza Pulman Sings The Songs Of Hollywood - UK Tour Dates