1981 – Lisa Lee Dark was born on April 16th in Swansea, south Wales, to her Welsh father, Roy Dark, and an Irish born mother, Cathy Houlihan, who was born in Londonderry, northern Ireland. Lisa Lee has 2 sisters, an older one, Tracey, and a younger one, Hayley. Lisa Lee comes from a famous background; her great great great great aunt was the Victorian opera singer, Adelina Patti, she was the highest paid opera singer in the world, and classed as one of the greatest, Adelina lived in a very grand castle in south Wales, the castle is called, ‘Craig y nos’, in english that means, ‘Rock of the night’. The castle is still there and it is currently a hotel and confrence centre. Lisa Lee’s other famous relation is the Hollywood legend, ‘Bette Davis’, she was Lisa Lee’s great great aunt and God-mother. Bette Davis was classed as one of the greatest screen actresses of the 20th century. It is believed that Lisa Lee is also a distant relation of the Welsh / Hollywood actor Sir. Anthony Hopkins.
Lisa Lee’s childhood was a very difficult one, due to family problems and due to the fact that Lisa Lee was born with a rare inter-sex medical condition called, ‘Congenital adrenal hyperplasia’ (CAH). This is a very complicated medical condition and can affect different people in different ways, in Lisa Lee’s case she was brought up a boy; this happened because whilst she was in her mother’s womb, she was over exposed to the male hormone, testosterone, and this resulted in Lisa Lee’s female sex organ being enlarged and fused, so it looked the same as a male penis; Lisa Lee discovered that she was different because she was sexually abused by a paedophile group during her childhood, but it wouldn’t be until her mid teens that Lisa Lee sort medical attention, she was given the wrong advice and this lead to her taking extra male hormones, as she beieved that this is how she was supposed to be, this was the wrong advice and all it resulted in doing was, making her grow wider, have half her hair fall out, grow facial hair and gain over 6 stone in weight; it wasn’t until Lisa Lee was 19 that she discovered the truth and had her condition correctly identified as CAH.
Lisa Lee’s career began very young, she first got spotted singing in her local park at age 6, but Lisa Lee was extremely shy and quiet, Lisa Lee has been known to say that she was afraid of her own shadow when she was younger. Lisa Lee refused to go into the recording studio with the producer / agent (Chris Jenkins) for 3 years, then one day when lisa Lee was feeling very low she gave in, and this was the starting point of her long career. At 9 years old, a few weeks before her 10th birthday Lisa Lee’s recording career began; she began by recording classical, original and sacred pieces of music, then by accident Lisa Lee was asked to record a dance record, this only happened because Lisa Lee was in the right place at the right time. This was Lisa Lee’s first mainstream commercial success, and she was just 12 years old. Lisa Lee continued to record vocals for dance records and she has been involved in records that have gone on to sell over 10 million copies world wide, this makes Lisa Lee one of the most successful studio session singers in the 1990’s.
Lisa Lee also recorded for film sound tracks as well as acting as a voice actress on several European horror movies, and 4 Hollywood movies; she also sang some lead vocals for the Christian, new age, classical group ‘New Era featuring Lisa Lee Dark’, who have sold over 5 million albums world wide, making them one of the most successful Christian music groups in the world.
Now Lisa Lee is establishing herself as an opera singer, in 2007 she signed an amazing deal for £2.5 million with a record company and opera production house / company. In 2007 she performed in 2 Puccini operas, ‘Turandot’, and, ‘Sr. Angelica’. Even though Lisa Lee classed this part of her career as being semi-professional, as she is mostly self taught and has a lot to learn, the critics still proclaimed Lisa Lee as having one of the most beautiful soprano voices in the world. This praise then continued in 2008 when Lisa Lee did another Puccini opera, this time she starred as, ‘Madama Butterfy’, the critics wrote that it was one of the greatest performances ever witnessed, another critic wrote that Lisa Lee Dark was the best thing to happen to female opera singing in a very very long time. This then lead to Lisa Lee performing in 1 Verdi opera, she played Abigail in ‘Nabucco’, it was reported that the opera company got paid £250,000 just to hear Lisa Lee play that role.
The success on the opera stage guaranteed that Lisa Lee’s recording career was still in demand, in 2008 she released her debut opera album, ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’, this translates, ‘Alone, lost, abandoned’, the album was a good success all over Europe getting into the top 20 of the opera charts all over Europe, except for the UK and Ireland, but due to the European success the record company released a second limited edition album, ‘The Screen behind the mirror’, this album contained Lisa Lee’s debut opera recordings from 2004 and her audition for the opera company that she is signed to. This second album sold all its 5,000 copies in 10 weeks across Europe.
Then in 2009 Lisa Lee was due to play the part of Puccini’s ‘Tosca’, but she got sacked because she was rudely told that she wasn’t pretty or thin enough, this was only a corporate event and they loved Lisa Lee’s singing voice but not how she looked; this made Lisa Lee and her record company change the release plan for 2009, instead of putting out a full album they chopped up the release, ‘Almost nothing’, was released as an EP (instead of a full album) in the UK and Ireland with the debut opera album. In 2009 Lisa Lee performed as ‘Madama Butterfly’ 2 more times before discovering a tumour on her throat; this resulted in Lisa Lee losing her opera voice. Lisa Lee believed that this marked the end of her opera career, but once she lifted herself out of her depression she began to retrain herself.
Lisa Lee’s early opera voice was a copy of the Italian diva ‘Renata Scotto’; Lisa Lee’s singing ability involves her ability to mimic other singers, this is how she taught herself o sing, Lisa Lee could never afford to go to university to study music, but she discovered, by accident, that she could mimic Renata Scotto’s voice, critics were so impressed with the likeness, they said that they couldn’t tell Scotto apart from Dark.
Lisa Lee has been away from the opera stage for almost 2 years rebuilding her voice; 2011 marks her return to the stage, where she will be performing in Mozart, Donizetti, Faure, Brahms and Verdi’s requiems.
Special releases (dance underground albums).
1999:- ‘The unknown story of Lisa-Lee Dark’
2000:- ‘MM:- The story continues’.
2001:- ‘Pray (forever).
Albums main releases
2004:- ‘Breath of life’.
2008:- ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’.
2008:- ‘The screen behind the mirror’.
Promotional and charity releases
2002:- ‘A journey of faith’.
2004:- ‘Here I am Lord’ – EP- released free with the ‘Breath of life’ album.
2009:- ‘Almost nothing’ – EP – released free with the ‘Sola perduta abbandonata’ album (UK & Ireland).