Singer Yulia returns from France to launch her new international show in Auckland on Saturday.
The Russian-born Tindalls Bay resident performs Chansons d'Amour - European love songs, at The Victoria Theatre in Devonport, which she chose because of its European cafe-theatre style charm.
Her show has already featured before a United States television audience of 51 million.
Chansons d'Amour includes musicians from Russia and France and brings new songs from Yulia's work in France from Divinas Live at Chambord Castle.
Chansons was made famous post World War II by Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich, becoming globally popular in the 1970s through the work of Nana Mouskouri.
"I was chosen by London-based Grammy award-winning music producer Craig Leon to represent the music of France and Russia in the world music project Divinas Live at Chambord Castle," Yulia says.
"Craig heard my 2010 Live Concert recordings and I was handpicked to record some of the most popular songs in Chanson at the original studio of Edith Piaf at Studio Davout in Paris. After performing to French audiences at Chambord Castle, I wanted to bring the authenticity of this European experience to New Zealand.
"I want it to feel to the Auckland audience like they have bought a plane ticket to Europe and like they have been transported into the heart of a European musical love affair for an evening."
Yulia made her big break earlier this year and is now taking the US by storm with the support and backing of Craig Leon. She first came to the attention of Craig, who has worked with singing greats including the late Luciano Pavarotti and Blondie, after she won the Grand Prix in the 2010 European Song Competition.
A music production deal between Craig and Yulia was later signed that same year.
"Since 2010, I have been hard at work behind the scenes preparing for my launch into the US market," Yulia says.
Pre-production work is under way on Yulia's first international solo album, expected to be released in 2014.
"I am pleased that I have taken on a role as the music producer who will present the voice of rare beauty of Yulia to the world," Craig says. "I feel that she is of the same calibre of many of the other artists I have worked with in the past."
Yulia has signed an international music publishing deal with Peer Music France to launch her original songs through European TV & Movies. The song Russia is being picked up to be promoted by Peer Music, the aim being to launch Yulia to European audiences.
Yulia came to New Zealand with her mother in 2002. She learned to sing in her grandmother's kitchen in Moscow from the age of about five. Her father tried to kill her with an axe and abandoned her. Having endured great hardship and poverty during her childhood, Yulia is now a passionate supporter of charities and has helped to raise over $1.4 million for various New Zealand causes, including the Cancer Society and hospice.
She is focussing more on charity concerts, a decision prompted when a girl with terminal cancer was wheeled into one of her Christchurch concerts and told Yulia her dream in life was to see her perform live.
Yulia's singing talent was revealed at school in Christchurch and she was discovered as a young teenager on a TV talent show.
Musician Gray Bartlett learned of her musical talent and within two years of arriving here she landed a recording deal with Sony Music New Zealand at the age of 18.
Her debut album Into the West, released in 2004, was top of New Zealand's album chart, remaining there four weeks and going platinum four times. Her second album Montage also topped the charts, making Yulia the first New Zealand artist to achieve two back-to-back number one hit albums.
She is married to her manager Glyn MacLean and the couple have been living in Tindalls Bay for a few years. They have a son, Leon, 2, and Yulia is three-months pregnant. Glyn has a 9-year-old son from a previous relationship.
Visit yulia.co.nz for information.
WIN FREE TICKETS
A double pass is offered a lucky reader to Yulia's debut of her new international show Chansons d'Amour to Auckland at The Victoria Theatre in Devonport on Saturday.
A special concession is also available to readers from Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast where they can receive a free autographed Yulia sampler CD with each ticket purchase, valued at $20.
To enter the Rodney Times lucky draw for the show pass email email@example.com with contact name, address and phone number or drop a note with your details into the office cnr Alice and Florence avenues, Orewa, before Friday 9am.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Are our classrooms becoming overcrowded?