International opera star Sean Ruane and friends take to Bacup theatre stage

Sean Ruane Photos Liz Henson Photography

A SHOWCASE of home grown talent will be given a huge stage when tenor Sean Ruane returns to his roots – Bacup Royal Court Theatre.

The international opera star started his career in the theatre’s footlights and is delighted to be able to offer a variety of local acts the chance to perform in the 500-seater auditorium.

Sean said: “This is not about me it is about giving the incredible talent that we have in Rossendale a platform. This night will be much more than just opera; it will be a real variety show with something for everyone. The Lomax Brothers Aaron and Guy are in-between ships and cruises on Friday May 31 and so fortunately they are able to bring their original musical act to the stage.

“Since September I have been working with Linsey Hernon to set up St Anne’s Community Choir in Edgeside and their musical director is Ruth McCartney. The choir has between 35-40 members aged from Year 6 in primary school right up to singers in their 70s and they are absolutely brilliant. Linsey approached me to help set up the choir and an outreach programme for St Anne’s.”

He said the choir’s largest audience had been in the church and so the Bacup performance will be a huge venue and the funds they will raise by attending the event will help to keep the choir going.

Singers Jade Schofield and Rachel Spencer, who owns Sophia Management and Casting Agency, will also be performing. Sean said: “Rachel is a really good singer and Jade is in Valley Aloud Community Choir and has experience of performing. I want her to take it to the next level and give her the experience of going solo.”

From starting as a singer in Bacup, Sean’s career has taken him all over the world to sing on many different stages and sporting venues. He now runs his own company Chant Productions, working with young people, groups and businesses to develop choirs and perform.

He said: “I wanted to put on the show because in Rossendale we have really good singers here because of their vowels, ok sometimes you have to correct their pronunciation, but they have a real quality in their voices.”

Also taking to the stage will be 12-year-old Danny Dunning and 11-year-old Max Harwood-Lomax – who has inherited his father’s performance skills. Sean spotted Danny’s potential when he was singing a Hymn in a concert at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School that he was attending. Fortunately he already knew his dad Robert because he has tuned Sean’s pianos.

He said: “His dad sent me videos of Danny singing and I asked if he could perform in the concert – before his voice drops and he becomes a baritone.”

Tickets for the one night only show on Friday May 31 at 7.30pm are available at Wishes Galore in Rochdale Road, Bacup, priced £12.

by Catherine Smyth Media

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