Lesley Garrett was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Music.
That was about 35 years ago and Lesley says: “When I first started, there were strict divisions between the musical genres and you were an opera person or non-classical person, in which case you didn’t belong at all.”
In the intervening time Lesley has become a member of the governing body of the Royal Academy and the institution itself has undergone a bit of a revolution with non-classical music “thoroughly respected” now in a way it wasn’t previously.
Lesley says: “I am thrilled to have lived to see that taking down of the barriers, as it were, because when I first started there were strict divisions between the musical genres.
“Most singers these days sing everything and you do find opera and classical music being used regularly by pop singers and in TV ads, and the world of film is fantastic for its use of classical music and opera.
“I sing with amateur choirs as well because I believe passionately in live music in the community.
“It harks back to my childhood in Yorkshire.”