Mezzo Soprano Kathryn Rudge Celebrating A Very Special Liverpool Life At Liverpool Cathedral

WHEN mezzo soprano Kathryn Rudge sings festive music in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral this week, she will be singing for some very special people in her life. Sadly, her beloved dad George lost his long battle with blood cancer just three weeks before last year’s concert in aid of the Royal Liverpool Hospital’s R charity appeal, but her mum Sue and the rest of the family will be taking pride of place. “All the doctors and nurses in the Royal were wonderful with my dad, and their treatment meant that he could make the most of life,” says Kathryn, 29. “He’d always be there at my concerts, and he’ll be there in my heart at this one too.” Yet coming from an unmusical family meant that when the young Kathryn started studying piano and singing, it took her parents by surprise. “As a teenager I’d sing pop songs, but once I sang an opera aria my life changed forever. Kathryn Rudge 3“Once I tried it I was hooked. I was invited by my school Liverpool College to sing at their Founders’ Day concert at Liverpool Cathedral, and I’ve never looked back.” Yet when her father was diagnosed with myeloma (a blood cancer) when Kathryn was in the second year of her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, her first instinct was to come home. “But my dad wouldn’t hear of it,” she says. “He told me to look after my end of the motorway, and he’d look after his. And he would travel all over the country to hear me sing which was wonderful.” After a career in, civil engineering and teaching, George was thrilled to see the new look Royal rising from its foundations on his regular appointments for treatment. “I think he had high hopes that I’d work in construction with a hard hat and steel toe capped boots, but I only ever wanted to live for music.” And George was there when Kathryn’s exciting plans for this year unfolded: she has just sung in the leading role of Rosina in the Barber of Seville with English National Opera at the London Coliseum and is now working with the BBC as a New Generation Artist from 2015/17 “But the Celebrate a Liverpool Life at the cathedral will be the most special of all,” she says. “Around mid-November, I start dusting off the Christmas music folder, so I’ll be singing O Holy Night, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, I’ll Walk Beside You and Let No Walls Divide, which is particularly poignant in a world of conflict.” “Supporting the R charity appeal is my way of giving something back to the Royal which gave my family so much, and raising much needed funds to make the new Royal even more special. And when I sing, my dad will definitely be there in all our hearts.” The Celebrate a Liverpool Life concert at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on Friday 4 December will raise funds for the R Charity’s £10million Appeal for the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Hosted by Roger Phillips, it will feature Kathryn Rudge, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and St Mary’s Preparatory School Show Choir. Tickets are still available at £10, or concessions £8. Family tickets are available for £28 (two adults, two children under 16). Call 0151 706 3150, visit www.cathedralshop.com or collect your tickets from the fundraising office at the Royal. For more information email fundraising@rlbuht.nhs.uk