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Jess Robinson

Actress and comedian Jess Robinson tells Michael Berkeley how her training as a classical singer informs her impressions of singers from Kate Bush to Julie Andrews.

The actress and comedian Jess Robinson tells Michael Berkeley how her training as a classical singer informs her impressions of a vast range of singers, including Kate Bush, Bjork, Lady Gaga, Billie Holiday and Julie Andrews.

A regular on Radio 4’s The Now Show, Dead Ringers, and 15 Minute Musicals, Jess made her name starring on stage in Little Voice and playing Joan Collins’ daughter in Full Circle. Her musical impressions propelled her to the semi finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2017 and she’s currently on tour with her show No Filter.

Jess chooses songs by Samuel Barber and Debussy that were favourites from her classical singing lessons, and pieces that remind her of the rich musical heritage of her family, including a 20th-century organ prelude that she plays in her local church as a double act with her mother – her mother plays the keyboards but Jess plays the pedals, as her mother’s legs are too short to reach them! And we hear Jess’s grandmother singing a traditional Yiddish song, recorded after she arrived in Britain on one of the very last Kindertransports in 1939.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 19 May 2019 12:00

Music Played

  • Alex Silverman

    It Must be Love

    Performer: Jess Robinson.
  • Samuel Barber

    Sure on this Shining Night

    Choir: Cambridge University Chamber Choir. Conductor: Timothy Brown.
  • Gordon Young

    Prelude in Classic Style

    Performer: Simon Lindley.
  • Traditional Yiddish

    Traditional Yiddish Song

    Performer: Rosi Schul. Performer: Jules Ruben.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Charles Groves.
  • Roger Ramirez

    Lover Man

    Performer: Billie Holiday.
  • Claude Debussy

    Salut Printemps (Le Printemps)

    Choir: Toronto Children’s Chorus. Singer: Jean Ashworth Bartle.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Sanctus; Pie Jesu (Requiem)

    Orchestra: Orchestre national de France. Conductor: Laurence Equilbey. Singer: Sandrine Piau. Choir: Accentus.

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