Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Singing impressionist’s ‘art will go on’ at Norden Farm

Singing impressionist’s ‘art will go on’ at Norden Farm

SINGER Christina Bianco will be looking to create a good impression when she performs at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead on Thursday, writes Peter Anderson.

Several of them, in fact — as not for nothing is Christina known as the girl with a thousand voices.

The singing impressionist has previously wowed TV audiences on both sides of the pond with her appearances on shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Paul O’Grady Show, This Morning, ITV’s The Imitation Game and NBC’s Today.

Christina’s repertoire includes such beloved divas as Celine Dion, Adele, Cher, Liza Minelli, Bette Midler, Shirley Bassey, Edith Piaf, Julie Andrews and Barbra Streisand. But when did she first discover her talent?

“According to my mum, as I young child I was often wandering around the house singing as Judy Garland or Dolly Parton, but I didn’t take ownership of it — I didn’t say look what I can do. In fact, I shied away when Mum wanted me to do it at parties, etc. It was probably at high school that I started to take ownership of it, but even then I preferred to do it on some form of stage.”

What does Christina look for when she is beginning to create an impression of someone?

“It’s not just how the person says words, but the pattern of the phrasing and delivery. Does the voice go up or down at the end of a sentence? Another part of creating an impression is do they have a distinctive stance, especially as I do not use costumes for every single impression. But perhaps the most important thing for me about a new impression is that I like the person I am impersonating — after all, they do say it is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Is there anyone she is still working on, so to speak? “I haven’t quite nailed Elaine Stritch and Joan Rivers yet. But the one person I could do but am really struggling with is Ella Fitzgerald.”

Has she ever performed an impression in front of the actual person? “I almost did an impression of Kathy Griffin with her in the audience but the show’s producers shied away. Afterwards Kathy messaged and asked me why I hadn’t done one.”

Lastly, if she could duet with anyone, who would it be? “I would love to sing with Barbra Streisand — I recently saw her live for the first time.”

Christina’s show at Norden Farm starts at 8pm on Thursday (October 24). Tickets are £15. To book, visit www.nordenfarm.org

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