1940s VARIETY ENTERTAINER
Artiste: FIONA HARRISON Soprano, Musical Actress, Comedienne, Dancer, 1940s Variety Entertainer
Vocal Range: Bottom F to Top F above Top C
Vocal Style: Light Operatic, Musical Theatre, Big Band and Swing, Close Harmony
Languages: French, Italian, German, Latin & Japanese
Equity Number: M00135181 (Full member)
Born in Yorkshire, Fiona began her theatrical career at an early age by attending local dancing classes. At five years old Fiona moved to Bedfordshire where she completed her education and performing arts studies in dance and drama. She embarked on her classical singing training at the age of sixteen under the watchful eye and ear of Pamela Prichard of the Royal Academy of Music, London and began her professional singing career in 1992.
Since those early days Fiona has proved herself time and time again to be an outstandingly talented and multi-faceted entertainer performing in all genres of the theatrical world. These have included dramatic roles; stand up comedy in the Joyce Grenfell vein, summer seasons, pantomime, musical theatre to operatic classical concerts plus a six month singing contract in Japan where it was necessary for her to learn to sing in Japanese. She not only possesses a fine, powerful soprano voice, but has a rare gift for comedy which Fiona uses to full advantage when performing in cabaret.
Dubbed by one critic “A Voice in a Million” after her stunning performance in the touring stage musical “From Cobbles to Rock”, Fiona can effortlessly switch from Opera to Rock and Roll which very few singers can do convincingly. Today Fiona is best known on the re-enactment circuit recreating the past though her beautiful costumes and singing the music of yesteryear. With a repertoire second to none and a wardrobe most re-enactors would die for, Fiona Harrison has become a top headlining attraction at many heritage events throughout the country covering a variety of different periods from Victorian/Edwardian Music Hall, the 20s and 30s, the 50s and 60s and the period for which Fiona is best known for the 1940s.
Fiona is able to work anywhere in the world bringing with her the best musical arrangements in the business. Fiona's trademarks are her unique medley arrangements and close harmony work. This she does by recording her voice twice onto the backing track and then singing the melody line live in performance. With well over a thousand songs in her repertoire Fiona’s shows are always fresh and exciting displaying great skill and vocal variation from Judy Garland to Chuck Berry, all delivered with personality and very often with a cheeky girlie wiggle!
Some of her credits include working with “The George Thorby Glen Miller Orchestra”, starring in “You are my Hearts Delight” at Bexhill’s famous De la Warr Pavilion with “Opera South East”, Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance”, Eliza Doolittle in “Pygmalion”, Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing”, the title roles of Gigi and Cinderella and national theatre tours in the 1940s musicals “We’ll Meet Again” and “How Hovis won the War”.
As part of the 1940s 65th D-Day commemorations Fiona was invited to perform at “The American Gold Beach Museum” in Ver-sur-Mer and also at the “D-Day Museum” in Arromanches, Normandy, France. She has now become a regular visitor to Normandy and sings in Arromanches every year in both English and French as part of the D-Day commemorations. Other re-enactment credits include “Railway at War”, Pickering, “Salute to the 40s” Chatham, “Victorian Steam Days” Didcot and The Isle of Wight Steam Railways, Woburn Abbey Flower and Oyster Festivals, Tatton Park, and “The Way We Were” 1950s and 60s event Wicksteed Park to name but a few. In 2005 Fiona was invited to take part in The Jersey and Guernsey Liberation celebrations, which were attended by The Queen and Prince Philip.
Fiona regularly performs on average two hundred shows a year travelling the length and breadth of the British Isles and Northern Europe. She has four CD albums to date and TV credits have included Meridian Tonight plus two appearances on BBC South East.
In her spare time Fiona likes to keep fit by working out at her local gym three times a week, running and attending local dance classes. Her hobbies include designing vintage dresses, millinery and making handbags. Her favourite pass times include visiting antique and vintage fashion fairs, admiring all things Art Deco, looking stylish, going out for afternoon tea and wearing the fashions of yesteryear!
“Able to sing in six languages, she offered Puccini’s ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ in Italian and ‘Vilia’ in German, such items displaying considerable acting ability”
Barbara Champion — The Stage
“She quickly won the heart of her audience and captivated everyone with a variety of songs and Joyce Grenfell type sketches”
M. Sharp — Buckingham Advertiser
“Fiona’s Pitch is perfect”
Robin Duke — The Stage
“The range of voice and control required for The Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus was most impressive”
Barbara Champion — The Stage
“The audience rose to their feet and gave Fiona a standing ovation”
Judith Baker — Bucks Free Press
“A sweet clear voice, which soared through operatic arias singing them beautifully”
Susan Greenhaigh — Evening Gazette, Blackpool
“Harrison works with intelligence, good timing and humour”
Barbara Champion — The Stage
“Undoubtedly a voice in a million”
Phil Hewitt — West Sussex Gazette
“Lovely personality, a stickler for presentation. Spends time on preparation and when on stage – sets the room alight”
John Scott — Club Entertainment News, Birmingham
FIONA'S PAST PRODUCTIONS
Fiona Harrison is based in the Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire area but is willing to travel anywhere in the world. Fiona has worked extensively throughout the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, so please do get in contact no matter where you are for a straight forward quotation.