Clare Teal, Sir Tim and Harrogate Festival

Tim Rice (S)

Tim Rice (S)

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It seems fitting Clare Teal is driving down country lanes dropping off tomato plants on her way to London when she explains what Harrogate audiences can expect from one of its promised extravaganzas: An Evening with Sir Tim Rice and the BBC Leeds Big Band.

Teal is the home-grown, down to earth Yorkshire talent with friends in very high places. Previous Festivals saw Clare bring along Sir Michael Parkinson. She met Sir Tim at a function in London and struck up a friendship. “I’ve a long history with the Festival and I wanted to shake the show up bringing these friends I’ve met through music to make it a real extravaganza gala of an evening. I’m so delighted to bring the greatest lyricist the country’s ever produced. The first half of the evening will be a celebration of musical theatre songs, and with the BBC Radio Leeds Big Band, there’ll be a full on Big Band all the way.”

Conducted by the brilliant Grant Windsor, the band and Clare Teal will be joined on stage by jazz singer extraordinaire, Ian Shaw and newcomer, Halifax born AJ Brown.

An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Sir Tim Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with West End hits Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. He’s also worked with Walt Disney Studios and Elton John (The Lion King).

Clare said she was lucky enough for Sir Tim to give her one of his latest songs from his new musical, From Here to Eternity, which hits the West End in September. Audiences will get a sneak preview of her performing Another Language from the new show.

“He’s written so many songs from pop to musical theatre,” Clare said. “I have a love of pop songs, whether they’re from the 30s and 40s to the present day, and the Big Band is about keeping that genre alive, so audiences can expect a huge range of musical styles. It’s going to be massive, packed with songs for maxed up enjoyment, every song is a winner.”

Clare Teal, an Evening with Sir Tim Rice and the BBC Radio Leeds Big Band, Friday, July 12, Royal Hall, 8pm. Tickets: £32, £28, £26, £22, £15 Boxes: £75, £50. Box Office: 01423 562303