Expert insights: Laura Wright

by Katie Rowe

Category: Things to do
January 7 2015
Laura Wright appearing in our Rugby ad

Hailing from Suffolk, soprano Laura Wright is used to the limelight, performing everywhere from the Royal Opera House to Wembley Stadium. Her latest performance however is exclusively for us in our new Rugby film which launches this coming Sunday. Here, she tells us why she’s excited about the Rugby World Cup, recalls her favourite family holidays in England and shares plenty of hidden gems.

Find more hidden gems in England...

What excites you most about Rugby World Cup 2015?

I feel so proud that we are hosting the World Cup, bringing rugby players from all over the world to England at the peak of their sporting career and welcoming people and showing them all how beautiful, diverse and exciting our country is. It’s a chance to see all the nations come together, and I'm looking forward to watching England play with my friends and family and to be able to sing the boys home to a win. 

What’s the one thing everyone must see or experience in England?

Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire

To visit at least one of our country’s beautiful cathedrals. I have been lucky enough to sing in some including Salisbury, Ely, Westminster Abbey, Southwark, and St. Paul’s in London. I grew up singing choral music and was always in awe of the beauty of these buildings and how they have stood the test of time. When you walk into a cathedral the feeling of tranquillity and magnificence is like nowhere else. 

Where’s your favourite place to perform in England?

Buckingham Palace for the Coronation Concerts was very special and you can never tire from seeing the incredible artefacts. More recently I sung at Ely Cathedral, a place with astounding acoustics, and also the stunning Sherwood Forest. I love performing outdoors, come rain or shine the Brits always have a picnic to hand! However, it has to be Twickenham Stadium that provides the most stirring and intense environment for me to perform in. The crowd feel like one enormous family.

Let us in on an insider tip for someone visiting England for the first time...

London rooftops

If you visit London don’t use the tube, walk around and look up – you’ll be amazed at what you see. I never tire of looking up when travelling through London and seeing new sculptures and parts of buildings, and even discovering streets I’ve never seen before. If you’re out of London, take time to explore beyond the well-trodden path and you’ll discover some wonderful places and people that will stay with you forever. 

As you’re from Suffolk, can you give us the lowdown on your favourite places to visit?

My favourite fry-up has to be from the farm cafe and food market just off the main road (the A12, literally on the side of the motorway). My dad loves the homemade ketchup! Then there’s Thorpeness boating lakes which hold many memories of fun and games with my three brothers.

The best pub has to be our local, the Cretingham Bell where my first ever boss has recently become the landlord, stocking Suffolk’s Aspall Cider of course! I absolutely love coffee and Paddy & Scotts – my favourite local coffee brand – have just opened up their own cafe. You'll find me there most Sundays.  

Where’s your favourite place to visit in England?

Ullswater in the Lake District

I’m a lover of the great outdoors and The Lake District in North West England wins hands down. We went on family holidays there when I was younger and I remember how utterly picturesque the countryside, the lakes and the mountains were.  We’d go on long walks and I would go back and do it all again in a heartbeat. It’s a place of overwhelming calm and beauty.

What’s your most cherished English holiday memory?

One of my earliest holiday memories was heading down to Holkham Beach, in Norfolk in the October half term where there’s miles and miles of unspoilt beach. It really is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We would rent a house in Bale and explore all the different places on the coast, including Sheringham, Holkham and Brancaster. When we were in Holkham, we would race each other down to the beach with a staggered start. The dog at the back, then my brothers, followed by my parents and then me and no matter how far back the dog was she always won!

What can you get from England that you can’t get anywhere else?

So many things, but number one is a perfect cup of tea. I travelled to Asia recently and by day five craved my English brew.  Nowhere makes tea like us Brits. From the quaint tearooms in the Kent countryside, to the lavish Ritz in London, it’s not hard to find a good tea. England is also a place where so many people have come together to create a wonderfully varied cultural environment, whilst retaining its own cultural heritage. 

Find more hidden gems and holiday ideas...

Katie Rowe

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