The world’s most famous singing family are hitting the high note in Wearside all this week.
The Voice runner up Lucy O’Byrne is getting in the habit as Maria in the Sound of Music at the Sunderland Empire, alongside Coronation Street actor Andrew Lancel as Captain Von Trapp.
Produced by Bill Kenwright, the hit musical tells the story of the Trapp Family Singers and Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, which inspired Rodgers and Hammerstein to create a Broadway musical in 1959, which spawned the hit film starring Julie Andrews.
It follows the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their escape to freedom as Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of WWII.
The score includes a host of familiar tracks including Edelweiss, My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, So Long, Farewell and title track, Sound of Music.
Andrew Lancel is best known as villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street, a role that earned him a Villain of the Year award at the British Soap Awards. He also played DI Neil Manson in the long-running ITV television series The Bill.
Lucy O’Byrne shot to success as the runner-up in the live shows of the TV talent show, The Voice. With chart-topper Will.i.am as her mentor, and biggest fan, Lucy made history as the first classical singer to reach the final, impressing with her vocal range.
Fresh from performing at the BBC Proms, Lucy, who released her first album, Debut, earlier this year, makes her musical debut as the young postulant, Maria.
•The Sound of Music is at Sunderland Empire until Saturday. Tickets are available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*
*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge. Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings
•To read a review of the show turn to p.49.