Biography

Verona was born in Bristol and raised in Bath, Somerset. Her first really lucky jazz break came in 2005 when Humphrey Lyttelton asked her to record the ‘Jail Break’ track for his ‘Sad Sweet Songs and Crazy Rhythms’ album.

Sad, Sweet Songs

Verona met Humph through jazz pianist Ted Beament who some years before had introduced her to Claire Martin OBE with whom she still collaborates.

Verona’s debut jazz album ‘Fever…in love with Shakespeare’ features an arrangement of ‘Jail Break’ as a tribute and ‘thank you’ to the late Humphrey Lyttelton.

She has performed at the 606 Club, Ronnie Scott’s, The National Theatre; The Purcell Room – South Bank; Café Royal; The Green Room; The Spice of Life and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Arts.

Touring and Festivals include Pizza Express, London and Norwich; The Brazz, Brighton; The Queen’s Hall and The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh; Sedbergh Literary Festival; The Bear, Devizes; Ropetackle Arts, Shoreham, Marlborough Jazz Festival, Ealing Jazz Festival, WWT, Barnes; Voicebox, Derby, The Pomegranate, Chesterfield, Luton Library Theatre, Brighton Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe and more.

Recent charity gigs for Breast Cancer Care; Quintessentially; Birkbeck Community Room; Great Pier Walk, Southend; WWT, Barnes.

Verona Chard with Humphrey Lyttelton during recording of ‘Sad, Sweet Songs & Crazy Rhythms’In addition to launching herself as a jazz musician, Verona has an acting career. Past appearances include number one tours with the likes of George Chakiris, Norman Rossington and Barbara Murray; weekly repertory theatre and pantomime, most recently as the Wicked Fairy at The Library Theatre, Luton.

As a classical singer she worked extensively in an ensemble called Sheherazade (with Denise Dance – flute, Fiona Clifton-Welker – harp) plus early Italian Opera, concerts and musicals both in the UK and abroad.
Broadcast appearances include – Thames, Scottish, HTV, BBC 2, BBC London Radio, BBC Regional Radio, Liberty Radio, UK Jazz Radio and a Bollywood film – Pyar Ki Dhun.

Verona trained in London at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban with the assistance of awards from The Drapers’ Company, The Clara Thornley Trust, Bath Council, The Vanburgh Trust, RAC, the Wood family and friends and supporters.

Fabulous mentors such as Anna Berenska, Eric Vietheer, John Wakefield, James Gaddarn, Mary Hammond, Karen Rabinowitz and John Hawkins have spurred her on her way.

The Early Years

From the age of five Verona planned to become a professional singer and performer; she worked regularly with The Jane Lilley Singers and won numerous solo awards at local festivals. Her parents Betty & Ron embraced all styles of music and Saturday afternoons were spent, after Verona’s ballroom dancing and swimming lessons glued to ‘the box’, transported to some other place whilst watching musicals and epic movies.

She admires amongst others, Ella Fitzgerald, Norma Winstone, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Julie Andrews, Harry Secombe, Mado Robin, Nina Simone, Joan Sutherland, Irma Thomas, Kurt Elling, Mark Murphy and contemporaries that it would be too sycophantic to name.

Verona collects jet, bog oak and vulcanite jewellery. She enjoys wildlife, travel, the outdoor life and camping (occasionally) and is a vegetarian. She lives with her actor husband Andrew Fettes in West London with Sloshed the ‘rescued’ goldfish (who recently moved to a neighbour’s pond due to outgrowing his tank of 10 years), only a stone’s throw away from her lovely mum Betty.

She is the vocal adviser to many accomplished / award winning singers and is a visiting consultant at the Central School of Speech and Drama where she has worked on Jerry Springer – The Opera; Edwin Drood; Guys and Dolls and City of Angels. Directing credits include Beside Myself Amy Hill performed by Chiaki Yamauchi – Edinburgh Fringe following successful performances of Tokyo Bound Amy Hill at Luton’s ‘Breakin’ Arts Festival 2009.

In April 2012 Verona was chosen by Polish superstar Tatiana Okupnik to be her ‘expert’ in the celebrity house for X Factor 2012.

Fever…in love with Shakespeare, a Shakespeare inspired crossover jazz/ classical concept album featuring Verona and internationally acclaimed jazz musicians is released online on 23 April 2012.
Sir John Dankworth and the meteorically talented Dame Cleo Laine’s 1964 recording, ‘Shakespeare and All That Jazz’, inspired the ‘Fever…in love with Shakespeare’ album concept. Music includes arrangements of songs by Elton John, Stephen Sondheim, Galt MacDermot, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart and a very original treatment of the iconic ‘Fever’ track.

She is also currently working on her next album, plus touring, coaching, giving masterclasses and performing extensively.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Verona

1. She is a former Life Saving Champion of Bath.

2. Climbed Snowdon in a snowstorm in aid of www.music4children.com (or visit www.whitelion.org.uk)

3. Promotes jazz at Monty’s, W5 – www.khukuribeer.com

4. Was married at the Wildlife and Wetland centre in Barnes – www.wwt.org.uk

5. Has presented the Women in Jazz show – www.ukjazzradio.com

Collapse all Expand all
Private Tuition : Vocal Masterclass

Verona has been vocal technique adviser to a number of successful singers including : Claire Martin, Tatiana Okupnik, Gill Manley, Barb Jungr, Victoria Hart

She is a visiting consultant at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Students from CSSD have currently gained parts in - Les Miserables (tour), Dad's Army (tour), The Globe etc.

***************************************************

July 21st 2012 - 606 Club, London - Masterclass with Claire Martin OBE, Verona Chard and Gareth Williams

E-mail: [email protected] to request details

***************************************************

If you are interested in one to one classes or details of jazz vocal workshops that Verona is running then email her on: [email protected]

Verona Recommends

Quote 'Verona's Website' and receive a 10% discount on hair styling at R Hair and Beauty Uxbridge Road, London, W5 3LD Tel: 020 8896 2982 Tube: Ealing Common