A Divine opportunity for burlesque singer

Jazz singer Emma Divine
Jazz singer Emma Divine

A JAZZ singer from the borough’s music scene says touring the country with a top burlesque show is the highlight of her career to date.

Emma Divine, who first developed her singing voice with Wigan Music Collective, is lending her dulcet tones to An Evening of Burlesque for a month-long journey around Britain’s theatres.

The former Winstanley College student performs several classic cabaret numbers as well as jazzy versions of a modern pop tunes as part of the show, which also features spectacular fire performances and dancing.

Emma, whose stage name derives from her grandmother’s maiden name and is originally from Leigh, is touring with the cast throughout October before heading across the pond to work on her debut album, which is being recorded with award-winning jazz producer Ian Shaw.

Emma said: “I’ve been singing in burlesque and cabaret shows for a few years. I did three shows in London with An Evening of Burlesque and now I’ve been asked to join the touring show.

“I’m doing a bit of Nina Simone, some Etta James and also a song by Christina Aguilera. This is definitely the highlight of my career so far, all the cast are lovely and it’s quite an adventure.

“There’s a lot of variety in the show, there’s silks and hand-balance acts and fire performers. I got into burlesque because my costumes are quite extravagant but I also love that genre of music and there’s a lot of crossover with jazz. Some of the greatest jazz singers performed swing and that’s perfect for vintage-style dancing.”

Emma, who studied jazz singing at Trinity College of Music in Greenwich and still lives in London, has already performed with the show at Manchester’s Royal Opera House and will return to the North West for a performance in Liverpool on October 23.

She is also hoping to join the cast of An Evening of Burlesque once again for further dates in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year.

Before that, though, she will head across the Atlantic to work on her first album of self-penned songs in Los Angeles with producer Ian Shaw, who has worked with the likes of Charlotte Church and Clare Teal.

She also hopes to return to the borough for a hometown gig as part of the promotional schedule when the album is released.

She said: “I’m going to be working with a couple of producers and some great jazz musicians in America. I’m working on my album and doing shows out there too.

“When I’ve done the album I will be back up to the borough to do an original showcase of my material. I was heavily involved in the Wigan music scene when I lived here and my first band played the festival at Haigh Hall.”

For more information visit www.emmadivine.com