Brtiain’s Got Talent star Lucy Kay swapped the stage for St Catherine’s Hospice and wowed patients, staff and volunteers during an intimate performance.
The rising classical star, who finished runner-up in last year’s show, visited the Lostock Hall hospice ahead of her performance at this year’s Symphony at the Tower, an annual weekend of live music at Hoghton Tower which raises much-needed funds for the charity.
The talented soprano will perform at the second night of the event on Saturday July 4, accompanied by the Heart of England Philharmonic Orchestra and male classical group Blake. The night before, on Friday July 3, legendary rockers Status Quo will take to the stage.
During her visit, Lucy treated patients, their families and staff and volunteers to a spine-tingling performance of ‘O mio babbino caro’ – an aria from Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi.
The 25-year-old also enjoyed a cup of tea while chatting with patients and their families and posing for photographs.
Lucy, who trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said she was delighted to find out more about the work of the hospice ahead of her performance at Symphony at the Tower.
She said: “My visit to St Catherine’s has been absolutely lovely – it’s such a calm, tranquil place which is full of angels. It’s so important for people to have a place like this which offers such warmth and comfort. As soon as you walk through the door you are made to feel so welcome. It’s amazing that they have been here for 30 years and I’m so happy to be performing at Symphony at the Tower as they celebrate such an important year.
“I really can’t wait for Symphony – it will mean so much more now I have seen where the money raised is spent. To be part of that is just fantastic.”
Patient Peter Fitzpatrick, who is currently sporting a bright purple Mohican raising funds in sponsorship for the hospice, said Lucy’s performance had brought tears to his eyes.
Peter, a former butcher from Preston who has lung cancer, said: “I remember seeing her on the show last year and expecting her to be another pop singer – then when she began and this voice came out, my jaw dropped! It was amazing.
“To hear her here at St Catherine’s, which is such a special place to me, was unbelievable. It brought tears to my eyes again. It was a privilege to meet her – she’s such a lovely, genuine girl.”
Lisa Gilkes was joined by her husband Ben, three children Ned, nine, Tom, seven, and Alice, six, and other relatives for the performance, which took place in the hospice’s multi-faith chapel.
The 37-year-old from Abbey Village, Chorley, who has cancer, said: “It was absolutely beautiful – the surroundings really added to the atmosphere too.
“It was lovely to do something different, to come out of my room and to share something special with the children and my family. It’s been a very happy occasion.”
I remember seeing her on the show last year and expecting her to be another pop singer – then when she began and this voice came out, my jaw dropped! It was amazingPeter Fitzpatrick
This year’s Symphony is set to be the biggest and most exciting in its 20-year history, as St Catherine’s Hospice celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015. The Symphony weekend on July 3 and 4 - which closes with a spectacular firework display set to the orchestra - will be the finale of a series of special anniversary events taking place throughout June.
Picnics are welcome at the Saturday night show, but food and drink cannot be brought into the arena on the Friday. Weekend tickets and VIP packages are also available and 16s and under are free for the Saturday show.
Symphony at the Tower 2015 takes place on Friday July 3 and Saturday July 4.
Tickets are on sale now via www.stcatherines.co.uk or from the hospice on 01772 629171.