DISCOVER the truth behind the apparently glamorous world of opera when Christine Bunning comes to Dorset this month with A Diva Dismantled.

She is inviting all along to Bridport Arts Centre to hear a mix of chat and comedy, classic arias and excerpts from musical theatre during an evening where the audience will be expected to take part.

Christine said: “I have spent 30 years as an opera singer and for this show I am dealing with the difference between the perceptions of an opera singer and the realities of being a human being who sings opera.

“There is a big difference between what people think you do and what you actually do every day.

“It really isn’t glamorous and I’ve always had a bit of a battle with the way classical music is perceived.

“People seem to think: ‘It’s not for me or the likes of me’ and they don’t think it will appeal to a broad audience. I have been battling this for years, so thank you to people like Alfie Boe and Russell Watson who have broadened its appeal.”

Christine’s singing career started by chance when she was a teenager and her mother heard the highly renowned opera singer Dame Isobel Baillie speaking on Women’s Hour.

She said: “My mother heard Isobel Baillie on the radio saying that young women should be careful what they sing early in their careers – I expect she was talking about not singing Wagner before you are 30 or something because your voice isn’t ready.

“I was 16 and singing in the local Gilbert and Sullivan society and mother wrote to Dame Isobel to ask what I should do and the singer invited me to have lessons with her.

“She said that singing and a life on stage was something I should be doing and that I should go to musical college.”

Christine studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

After winning several prizes there she studied further in Vienna and on her return to England she worked with the New Sadlers Wells Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

In addition to her operatic work Christine is a busy concert singer and recitalist and sees Dismantling the Diva as a great way of relaxing.

She added: “I have always felt sad that when people go to a classical concert there’s an air of solemnity because the performers don’t speak to the audience, but my shows aren’t like that.”

The show is at 7.30pm on December 8 at Bridport Arts centre and tickets are £12 plus concessions from the box office on 01308 424204.