The English soprano, Lesley Garrett, CBE, is Britain’s most popular soprano, regularly appearing in both opera and in concert, on television and CD; she has won both critical acclaim and the affection of many fans and music lovers. As a recording artist, she has nine solo CD’s to her credit; Soprano in Red received the Gramophone Award for 'Best-selling Classical Artist of the Year', Diva! A Soprano At The Movies, Prima Donna, Simple Gifts, Soprano in Red, Soprano in Hollywood, and I Will Wait for You all received silver discs and A Soprano Inspired and Lesley Garrett both achieved gold discs.Travelling Light, released in November 2001 is Lesley's first album under her new exclusive recording agreement with EMI Classics. Lesley was also a featured artist on the platinum selling Perfect Day single released by the BBC in aid of Children in Need.
Lesley Garrett's own BBC2 television series 'The Lesley Garrett Show' continued in the autumn of 2001 featuring programmes from Naples, Seville and New York with guest artists Marcello Alvarez, Ian Bostridge, Alison Moyet, Michael Ball, Maxim Vengerov and Joshua Bell. Previously titled 'Lesley Garrett…Tonight’ the series has previously featured guest artists as diverse as Renee Fleming and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Marti Pellow, Michel Legrand and Elaine Paige. Other television appearances have included the documentary ‘Jobs for the Girls’ (BBC1) with Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke, ‘Viva la Diva’ (BBC2), and ‘The Lily Savage Show’ (BBC1). Lesley was also the subject of a South Bank Show on LWT in 1998.
Lesley Garrett’s operatic career included early engagements at the Wexford Festival, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera before joining English National Opera in 1984. During her time with English National Opera (ENO), Lesley starred in many productions and won critical acclaim for her portrayals of both comic and serious roles. Most recently she returned to the Coliseum in the spring of 2001 for a revival of her acclaimed Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville. She is now a member of the ENO's Board of Directors. Lesley made her Covent Garden debut with the Royal Opera's production of The Merry Widow.
Internationally Lesley Garrett has performed throughout Europe, the USA (most recently appearing with Jonathon Pryce at the Hollywood Bowl in performances of My Fair Lady), Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea, where she sang Happy Birthday for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the presence of the Queen during her State visit to the country.
For Millennium Eve, Lesley Garrett sang opera and pop classics with Bryan Ferry, The Eurythmics and Mick Hucknall in the grounds of the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to celebrate the arrival of the new century. In May 2000 her autobiography 'Notes from a Small Soprano' was published by Hodder and Stoughton. Later that month Lesley appeared at the first-ever Classical Brit Awards, a gala fundraising concert and musical celebration for Dame Elizabeth Taylor and performed the very last Abide With Me at the 2000 FA Cup Final (prior to the closure of Wembley Stadium) in aid of the NSPCC.
Lesley Garrett was awarded a CBE in the 2002 New Year's Honours List for Services to Music.