Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Dame Julie Andrews to make UK stage return

Dame Julie Andrews
Dame Julie said her return would be a "wonderful moment"

Singer Dame Julie Andrews is to appear on the UK stage for the first time in 30 years, organisers have announced.

The 74-year-old is set to sing songs from her stage and screen hits at London's O2 Arena on 8 May.

The Sound of Music star will be joined by an ensemble of five performers and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the one-off concert.

Dame Julie has rarely sung since 1997 when surgery on her throat impaired her soprano voice.

'So excited'

In 2000, she reached an undisclosed settlement with New York's Mount Sinai Hospital where the operation was carried out.

In a BBC interview in 2003, the singer said she had "a wonderful, deep, bass voice of about five notes and that's about it".

She has supported the development of pioneering treatment which could improve the condition of damaged vocal cords.

Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music
Julie Andrews played Maria in The Sound of Music

In a statement, the Mary Poppins star said: "To perform once again in my homeland on the London stage will be a wonderful moment - it is where it all began for me.

"I am so excited to be able to share a brand new work with audiences."

In An Evening With Julie Andrews, she will also narrate children's book Simeon's Gift, which she wrote with her daughter.

Music from her most recent projects, including the Shrek series of movies and The Princess Diaries, will also be included in the concert.

At a show in New York last year, Dame Julie sang four solo songs and also performed with other members of the ensemble.

The stage and screen star, whose career spans six decades, won an Oscar in 1965 for her performance in Mary Poppins.

In 2007, she landed a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild of America.

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