Lisa Lee Dark
|Lisa Lee Dark|
|Birth name||Lee Dark|
|Born||16 April 1981|
|Origin||Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Opera,classical crossover, Christian, new-age, dance, adult contemporary|
|Occupation(s)||Opera singer, song writer, musician|
|Years active||1992– present|
|Labels||Angel Guardian Records
(2008 – present)
Dark was born in Clydach, one of the Swansea valleys. She is related to Adelina Patti (1843–1919) and Bette Davis (1908–1989) Dark was born with a rare medical condition called Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This meant that throughout Dark's childhood she was raised as a boy because doctors failed to realise that she was biologically female.
The condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), leads to an excessive outpouring of the male hormone testosterone during the early part of foetal life While the genes are thoroughly xx female, an inherited faulty gene blocks production of an essential enzyme. The deficiency leads to upsets in the body's hormonal balance and causes the adrenal glands to produce low levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. In response, the pituitary (the body's conductor gland) pushes the adrenals into top gear to make more cortisol, because of the enzyme deficiency, they secrete more and more testosterone and in the most severe cases, like Lisa Lee's, the hormone leads to fusion of the female genitalia and in some an enlarged clitoris, making it quite easy to mistake newborn girls for boys, though ovaries and womb remain intact, making it possible for Lisa Lee to have children of her own.
Dark only discovered that she was biologically female at the age of 19. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a disorder that affects one in 15,000 births world wide, with varying degrees of masculinisation.
Dark was very badly bullied during her school years. She went to a tough all boys comprehensive school where she would regularly get kicked, punched, spat at and have obscene things screamed at her, even outside school she would get the same treatment, all because she was slightly different and did not behave like all the other boys.
Dark's home life wasn't much better, her parents had drink and money problems, they told Lisa Lee that she was the least important thing to them and that they wished that she was dead, there was also a lot of violence in the home, so Dark would walk the streets to get away from the troubles, but this made her easy prey for a paedophile ring; the sexual abuse that Dark experienced made her realise that she wasn't a normal male, but growing up all she wanted was to die. Dark believes that this is what pushed her into the entertainment industry.
Dark, at the age of ten, first starred in a European advert due to a case of mistaken identity. Her other voice-over acting work has been on low budget European horror movies; Dark has also done voice-over work, by creating 'evil chants', for a few Hollywood movies and the American television serial Buffy the vampire slayer. Dark has to date mostly been Uncredited for this work.
Dark was first heard singing in her local park by a record producer at the age of six, but due to fear and shyness Dark didn't begin to record until the age of nine (three weeks before her tenth birthday). Originally Dark began recording classical, new age and sacred pieces of music for TV and film soundtracks; in 1992, by complete accident, Dark began to record dance music; Dark, who has an 8–9 octave vocal range, had the ability to mimic other singers. During the 90's Dark would mimic / copy other dance hits, and these were released on the mid-priced budgeted music market, Dark also achieved minor dance hits on the dance music charts by recording remixes of hit songs and releasing them on white labels. This brought Dark her first commercial success, as these recordings sold almost a million copies.
Solo music career
In 1998 Dark signed her first solo recording contract, valued at £5 million. From 1999 – 2002 Dark released four dance albums; 'The unknown story of Lisa-Lee Dark', 'MM:- The story continues', 'Pray (forever)', and 'Asia'; these albums achieved moderate success shifting 50,000 copies; these albums were released as free albums with a DJ compilation remix album; in 2002 Dark was dropped by her record label, VIP international records, for 'not losing weight'.
In 2004 Dark released her first mainstream classical album titled, 'Breath of life'. This album is Dark's first attempt into the new age, ambient, classical crossover music market. Due to problems with management and the record label 'Breath of life' became a huge commercial flop, despite glowing reviews from critics and the public. .
In 2005 Dark decided to train to become an opera singer; due to lack of money, Dark taught herself to sing opera by mimicking the well known Italian opera divas Renata Scotto and Mirella Freni. In her first opera performances, in 2007, critics said they cannot tell Dark apart from Scotto.
2007; Dark records vocals for the Cate Blanchett movie 'Elizabeth', Dark has recorded vocals on several Hollywood movie soundtracks. In 2007, Dark began her semi-professional opera career, performing in small to medium sized venues around the UK, her debut opera performance was as Liu in Puccini's opera Turandot; Dark's second opera was the lead in Puccini's Sr. Angelica. 2008, Dark signs a new £2.5 million recording deal and releases her debut opera album, 'Sola, perduta, abbandonatta'; this CD is not a mainstream release as it is only available through specialist sellers and the record companies own website. A limited edition second album, "The Screen behind the mirror", was also released in 2008, free with the debut album, to promote Dark's third opera performance; the lead in Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly. Dark's early opera voice / recordings is her mimicking the Italian opera diva Renata Scotto; in 2009, Dark was sacked from playing the lead in Puccini's opera Tosca, for being too fat and not pretty enough.
- Davies, Daniel (13 September 2004). "Lisa-Lee album launch". The Western Mail (walesonline.co.uk). Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- (Wales on Sunday newspaper, 11 July 1999)
- (Bella magazine, 21 August 2001)
- (Real magazine, 9 September 2003)
- "BBC Radio 4 – Changing Sex". Retrieved 6 August 2008.
- "Website will help air rare conditions". 26 May 2000. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
- (The Times newspaper, 20 November 2004)
- "Highs and lows". Retrieved 6 August 2008.
- (Now magazine, 14 June 2000)
- (The Universe newspaper, 28 May 2000)
- (The Daily Telegraph newspaper, 25 April 2000)
- (The Western Mail newspaper, 13 September 2004)
- Daniel Davies (13 September 2004). "Lisa-Lee album launch". Retrieved 6 August 2008.
- (More magazine, 12 May 2004)
- (The Mirror newspaper, 8 May 2000)
- (Golwg Welsh language magazine, September 2004)
- (Life magazine, April 2008)
- (The Universe newspaper, 26 November 2000)
- (The Mind magazine, July,2007)
- (South Wales Guardian newspaper, 8 March 2001)
- (The Catholic Herald newspaper, 29 October 2004)
- (Carmarthen Journal newspaper, 22 January 2003)
- (Messenger of Saint Anthony, October 2005)
- "God and I". Retrieved 6 August 2008.
- (Cornish Guardian newspaper, 23 September 2004)
- (News of the world Sunday magazine, 12 December 2004)
- (South Wales Evening post, 4 October 2004)
- (Now UK magazine, June 2008)
- (Carmarthen Journal newspaper, 24 January 2001)
- (Church of England newspaper, 19 November 2004)
- (Diva magazine, January 2005)
- (Music buzz magazine, November 2005)
- (Gay Life magazine, January 2009)
- (Inside Opera magazine, December 2007)
- (The Opera magazine, October 2007)
- (Euronews magazine, January 2008)
- (Pick me up magazine, 30 July 2008)
- (Prima magazine, October 2009)
- (South Wales Evening post, 29 September 2009)
- BBC Radio 4 – Hometruths interview
- Lisa Lee Dark myspace
- Lisa Lee Dark's Twitter page
- Lisa Lee Dark's official google profile