Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Connie Fisher pulls out of Maria tour on a sad note


She won over viewers with her impressive voice that spanned several octaves. Now Connie Fisher, the winner of BBC 1's How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, has pulled out of Andrew Lloyd Webber's touring production of The Sound of Music, saying a throat condition has changed her vocal range and she cannot cope with the part.

It is not the first time Fisher, 28, has had vocal issues. In April 2009 she scrapped a solo tour after specialists said she needed a procedure on her vocal chords.

Fisher said in a statement: "After many months of battling with a throat condition, known as congenital sulcus vocalis, my vocal range has altered dramatically and it is with much regret that I have to withdraw from The Sound of Music as I no longer have the range to sing the part of Maria. I am devastated that I am not able to close the tour."

Fisher will be replaced by Verity Rushworth, who has also been touring as part of The Sound of Music's company. She played Donna Windsor in ITV's Emmerdale.

Fisher has been playing Maria since the production opened in Cardiff in July 2009. The production was due to return to Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre this month, and was also set to visit Manchester, Newcastle and Wimbledon before the end of October.

She has recorded Connie's Music Map of Wales, which began on BBC 1 Wales on Monday, where she explores the musical stories of Welsh people. Last year she wed a banker, Jeremy Reed, whom she met on a Cardiff station platform.