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The Voice that Launched a 1000 Ships

Basira Ward Davies, singer with Wild Strings Quartet, YoYo.UK and collaborator on the Acushla Angel project out of Andersonshelta has finally been given the recognition she deserves with a gig singing on the score for the new film Troy starring Brad Pitt. This review reproduced from Western Daily Press.


10:08 - 10 May 2004

From a tiny town hall to Hollywood, a West soprano last night told of her remarkable rise to fame - itself worthy of the silver screen. When Basira Ward-Davies stepped on to the stage at Frome town hall, she could be forgiven for not expecting it to be her lucky break. But always a perfectionist, the 35-year-old gave the audience of Bulgarian music lovers a day to remember.

And yesterday, the mother-of-one revealed why that fateful performance at St John's Hall will stay with her forever.

It catapulted her from entertaining the West's classical music fans to singing on the soundtrack of Troy, starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.

Basira's performance stayed with Dessie Stefanova, a well-connected Bulgarian singer who was in the audience that day.

And two years later, when Warner Brothers turned to Dessie to find a soprano for an orchestra, she recalled Basira.

Speaking from her home in Frome yesterday, the music teacher said she was "absolutely amazed" when she received the call.

"I couldn't believe it. I was going to work with James Horner, the composer who wrote the music for Titanic," she said.

"The next thing I knew I was being shipped out to Los Angeles to work with some of the best musicians in the world.

"I think it's a lesson to anyone who's involved in music - it doesn't matter where you are, the right person could be there to hear you and so you must always do your best."

Basira, who started her singing career in a Torquay choir at the age of eight, has sung in numerous operas and on television.

But in April, she found herself embarking on her greatest challenge - and in record time. Warner Brothers had scrapped the original soundtrack made last summer, after it was panned by a pre-release audience.

This left just three weeks for the new music to be both written and recorded. Basira said the music was recorded as the film was played before the orchestra's eyes.

"At one point, I was so taken away by the film that I almost missed my cue to sing," she said.

"It is an amazing, powerful film and the music is just the same."

Basira, who is married to music teacher, Simon, and has a 15-year-old daughter, Amalia, described her best moment.

"When the lights went down and the film started to roll and this huge orchestra started to play, it was just amazing. It was just so unreal, I couldn't believe I was there," she said.

There are no words to the music, Basira sings notes for around four musical bars at a time.

She said the best music comes in the battle scenes and when Pitt's character, the Greek warrior Achilles, dies.

And while Basira did not get to meet the stars in the flesh, she may yet share the red carpet with them at the film's London premiere.

"We don't know yet whether we can go to the premiere but I hope we can," she said.

But for now it's back to the day job at the City of Bath College, where she has become quite a star among her A-level and BTEC music students.

Troy opens in Britain on May 21.

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