Tuesday 18 February 2020

Interview with singer Lucy O'Byrne

From working with Will.I.Am on The Voice and releasing her debut album, to starring as Maria in a UK tour of The Sound of Music, SoGlos chats to singer Lucy O'Byrne ahead of her performance at Everyman Theatre.

Discussing working with Will.I.Am on BBC’s The Voice and releasing her debut album, SoGlos chats with the musical star, Lucy O’Byrne, before she brings the Everyman Theatre alive with the sound of music this summer.

After growing up in a musical family dubbed ‘The Von Trapp’s, Lucy O’Byrne takes on one of the greatest roles in musical theatre, as she performs as Maria in The Sound of Music.

Have you been to Cheltenham before?

No this will be my first time. But we’re at Everyman Theatre for two weeks, so I hope I’ll get to see a bit of the town.

Can you tell me about your role in The Sound of Music?

Well I play the starring role of Maria. Most people have seen the movie, so for them it’s quite self-explanatory, but for anyone who hasn’t seen it, and without giving too much away, it’s an amazing story of love, adventure and coming of age, with something everyone can relate to.

During the show, do you have a favourite song to perform?

It’s funny, I was asked this in October, and I must have performed it over 140 times by now, but I still don’t know. I get to sing most of the songs and I absolutely love them all.

What drew you to performing in musicals, and what do you enjoy about it?

It’s a strange question really because it’s not something I ever thought about. I grew up with parents who perform and a sister who performs. We were taken to rehearsals with our parents and would sing all the time, so it’s always just been a part of my life.

We’re actually nicknamed the Von Trapp family, we even have a group on WhatsApp called ‘the Von Trapps’, so it’s really fitting that I’m performing in The Sound of Music!

Do you have an all-time favourite musical?

So many! I think, for now, The Sound of Music has sort of taken over as my favourite one though. I had seen the film and everything, but I’d never really appreciated it until now and it’s become very special for me.

It's a really special experience to look down and see all generations react to the show.

What would be your dream musical to perform in?

Well, Maria is the best role anyone could ask for. She’s my first role, so I’m very lucky, because I think it’s the best part ever written for a female – or anyone.

She’s a really beautiful character, just full of love, and it’s actually very difficult to see the bad in things now, even when I’m not in character.

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience on The Voice?

It was probably one of the most amazing things I ever have, and ever will do. It was just a really unique experience, and I couldn’t liken it to anything.

I made some great friends with both the producers and the other competitors, and I get to watch their careers flourish now, which is great. It was quite hard to say goodbye at the end of the show as we’d all become a family.

And how was Will.I.Am as a mentor?

He’s an amazing character – he’s a genius really! I think he’s the best things to happen to music, in our generation at least. Working with him was truly amazing. I still get a tweet from him every now and then too!

Why do you think shows like The Voice and X Factor are so popular?

Everyone is really well looked after, and it gives performers a platform to show their talents. It really helps people start their journey.

I noticed you’ve recently released your debut album, can you tell us a little bit about that?

Yes, it came out in March and was produced by Island Records. It’s a classical crossover, which offers opera classic like what people saw on The Voice, but some more contemporary sounds too. It really is a debut album as it’s a sort of introduction to me as a singer.

What can Gloucestershire locals look forward to from your upcoming performance in The Sound of Music?

A great story told in a very truthful way. Audiences can expect to sing along, expect to be moved, and expect to be brought on a wonderful adventure.

For me, it’s a really special experience to look down and see all generations react to the show. There’s hardly a house that hasn’t seen the show, in the 51 years since the film came out, so you get all ages enjoying themselves.

And finally, what reactions have you received so far?

I get to meet a lot of people after the show which I love, because you get the audience telling you how much the show means to them. I get people saying ‘I had that song at my wedding’, or ‘I remember seeing this in the cinema with my mum’, which is really lovely.

We also get a lot of children coming up to check I’m okay after the show because they see me crying on stage and they want to check the other children got over the mountain!

The Sound of Music will be at Everyman Theatre from Tuesday 12 to Saturday 23 July 2016. For more information see The Sound of Music at Everyman Theatre, call Everyman Theatre on (01242) 572573, email admin@everymantheatre.org.uk or visit everymantheatre.org.uk directly.

By Alice Lloyd

© SoGlos
Thursday 16 June 2016

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