Opera Babes

Opera Babes
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About me
In 2001, Rebecca Knight and Karen England were buskers on the streets of London. They were soon discovered and asked to sing at the FA Cup Final for a global audience of 500 million television viewers.

Their debut album went straight to the top of the classical album charts, and now the ‘OperaBabes’ as they named themselves, are releasing their second CD of operatic arias called Renaissance.
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My performance
Opera Babes & Andre Rieu - Ode to Joy 2003
Vittorial (Aida 2002) - Opera Babes
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More about me and what I do
The Opera Babes met in Cambridge while performing Mozart's The Magic Flute in a touring opera company. England studied at Leeds University and London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Knight, whose mother is the opera singer Gillian Knight, wrote for children's television early in her career. Both women have performed with the English touring company Opera della Luna and at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. They began busking together in 2001 on London's Covent Garden, where they were first spotted and were signed for their first album by Sony. They became famous for singing "Un bel dì vedremo" ("One fine day we shall see" from the opera Madame Butterfly), the song that ITV used for their World Cup 2002 programmes, at the FA Cup final and at the UEFA Champions League final in Milan. Knight explained the group's strategy to BBC News as follows: "We have tried to maintain the classical integrity while making these things more appealing to a wider audience."

The Opera Babes released their first album, Beyond Imagination in 2002 (ranking #1 on the UK Classical Chart for eleven weeks, and #4 on the US Billboard Classical Crossover Albums chart. In addition to the "One Fine Day" track being selected as the World Cup 2002 theme by ITV, British Airways chose another of the tracks, "Lakme H2O", a "stylish re-imagining of the Flower Duet from Lakmé", for a commercial. One reviewer wrote: "If you're a young individual with a remote interest in the classical genre, this disc is the perfect introduction". The album has sold over 1.7 million copies. The artists soon had a falling out with their producer, SonyBMG, which asked them to concentrate on studio work, rather than performing live. "We were originally discovered busking ... so I would have thought it was obvious that we loved performing live, yet Sony weren't interested", said Karen England.
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