OperaBabe's Rebecca Knight (left) and Karen England.
It was such a "Noughties" story. Two pretty young women, discovered while busking in London's Covent Garden in 2000, propelled to overnight stardom. The OperaBabes - Karen England and Rebecca Knight - were signed to Sony and sold 1.5 million copies globally of their debut album "Beyond Imagination" (according to their label) and appeared on Late Night With David Letterman in the U.S with their classical-crossover "Madonna meets Mozart" style.
Usually such stories end there, after the proverbial 15 minutes, but the OperaBabes are back, with a new label and a new sound. After a ten-year break--in which the OperaBabes were having babies and fostering their own solo projects--they have signed an international deal with Warner Classics for at least one album, the first being "Silent Noon," which will be released on April 16 in the U.K and in the summer in the States (date tbd). "Silent Noon" is a collection of piano-accompanied British art songs, including compositions by Benjamin Britten and Purcell.
Head of Warner Classics John Kelleher says it was far from an odd decision to sign a duo who first hit the big time more than a decade ago. "They already have a great following in the U.K. and in the States, so it made complete sense." He adds, "what they wanted to do was what we wanted to do and we believe the repertoire is the sort of thing that can do well commercially. Songs such as 'Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes' could easily work really well on TV or get picked up by as a sync."
Says Rebecca Knight, "This is the album we always wanted to make. We hadn't planned to be doing classical crossover originally but it happened and we ended up doing these big amplified shows." The new disc, says Knight, "is our dream album, the one we never dared make…"