Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Saturday, 27 February 2010

Classical stars unite for charity

Classical singers included Faryl Smith, Paul Potts and Camilla Kerslake
Tenors, baritones and sopranos came together for the song's finale

Some of the UK's most popular classical music stars have gathered in London to record a charity song for the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Musicians including Julian Lloyd Webber, Aled Jones and Britain's Got Talent stars Paul Potts and Faryl Smith went into a recording studio together.

A total of 23 artists have contributed to the song The Prayer, made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion.

Intended to help the Haiti aid effort, it will be released on 14 March.

The recording session took place at Metropolis Studios, west London, on Saturday.

The line-up included "popera" acts All Angels, Bond, Camilla Kerslake, Rhydian and The Priests, as well as ITV's Pop Star To Opera Star winner Darius Campbell and Classical Brit winners Blake.

When people listen to it and remember why we're singing it, it will be a very moving and powerful piece of music
Humphrey Berney
Blake

Blake singer Humphrey Berney said: "It's the first time that a number of classical artists have come together, and it's for an immensely important cause.

"It's pretty exceptional circumstances to go into the studio with other artists who have collectively sold millions of albums. You'd think it would be a very high pressured environment but there's an extremely relaxed and very friendly atmosphere."

Each vocalist performed different lines before coming together for a group finale.

"I know when people listen to it and remember why we're singing it, it will be a very moving and powerful piece of music," Berney said.

Dame Evelyn Glennie, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and tenor Gardar Thor Cortes recorded their parts in advance.

The project was masterminded by manager Nadia Raibin, who said it came together in "two frantic weeks".

'Haunting' track

"I've pulled favours left, right and centre, I've begged and borrowed everything and everyone I could think of," she said. "The artists have flown in from here, there and everywhere, all at their own expense.

"Every single person that I have spoken to just said yes straight away. So everybody involved has given their time and enjoyed the day."

She described the song, written by David Foster, as an "iconic, haunting" piece of music.

"It sounds so beautiful and the general public just need to back it so that we can raise the money that is so needed."

It would be "lovely" to stage a live performance, she added. "You never know, maybe the Classical Brits will invite us to do it."

Meanwhile, a Haiti fundraising gig featuring rock acts such as Paul Weller, Seasick Steve and KT Tunstall at the London Roundhouse on Thursday raised £85,000, organisers have announced.



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