East Grinstead welcomes Jonathan Veira’s “Songs of Freedom”

Jonathan Veira, renowned Bass Baritone, returns to Jubilee Community Church after a 12-year absence on Saturday May 5. He will be performing his “Songs of Freedom” one-man show at the Jubilee Community Church, Charlwoods Road at 7.30 pm with all proceeds going to the Prison Fellowship.

For more than twenty years Jonathan Veira has built a solid reputation as “one of our best buffo (comic) basses” (Daily Telegraph). Working in many of the world’s leading opera houses, he has performed a wide range of comic roles and is described by Glyndebourne as one of their most loved artists. Jonathan is also a Christian who communicates that story of his life with passionate enthusiasm and an infectious joy.

Jonathan, who can sing in seven languages, is that rare thing: an accomplished opera singer who has made the crossover into popular music and still retained his credibility. Thoroughly adept on keyboard and guitar and sounding completely at home in a range of styles and sounds; from Louis Armstrong (“What A Wonderful World”) to Billy Joel, to Gershwin, to Eric Bibb (“Want Jesus To Walk With Me”). Jonathan is also known to do an impressive Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and even Coldplay! In-between each song, this Guildford-based husband and father quickly wins the hearts of his audience with his convivial, down-to-earth personality. Totally relaxed, Jonathan recounts unlikely anecdotes from his personal and professional life, mixing them with such a constant stream of humour that it’s easy to imagine him earning his living as a full time stand-up comedian.

The big man from Harlesden with the Portuguese surname and St Vincent family roots is an able mimic – he does a great Elton John impersonation! He may, perhaps, be at his funniest when singing not-so-clever country and western tunes. At times it is easy to forget that Jonathan operatic successes have included Don Magnifico for the Royal Swedish Opera and the Royal Danish Operas; leading roles for English National Opera; Frank in Die Fledermaus, the wicked stepfather Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola by Rossini and Father Augustine in Betrothal in a Monastery all for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

Why not have an evening of song, good humour and help the Prison Fellowship with their work in prisons and with ex-prisoners across the UK? Bring a friend who is not yet a Christian to an evening of laughter and song. Tickets for the May 5, Prison Fellowship benefit concert, are available online: www.prisonfellowship.org.uk/jvtour at £10 each or from Valerie Maynard (telephone: 07846 201277).