17 May 2024

Star of Battle Proms wows judges on Britain’s Got Talent

A highlight of the annual Battle Proms Picnic Concert, the summer spectacular which takes place in Hatfield Park every July, is the appearance of their hugely talented soprano Denise Leigh. Each year she brings a touch of operatic magic to the open-air concert, with beautiful renditions of much-loved pieces, and brings crowd to their feet as she leads the ‘last night of the proms’ style finale.

Much to the delight of Battle Proms fans, Denise appeared alongside her equally talented husband Stefan on Britain’s Got Talent on Sunday night and shared the story behind their decision to appear. “Let’s be honest, as performers, the last few years haven’t been a lot of fun” Denise told head judge Simon in Cowell when he asked why they had decided to audition this year. “And then just as everybody was getting back into work I was diagnosed with cancer.”

Denise, who is blind, then went on to blow the crowd away, first with her humorous take on the challenges life has put in her way, and her positive attitude to the difficulties she has overcome, then with her incredible voice as she performed Climb Ev’ry Mountain, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic from The Sound of Music.

Accompanied on piano by Stefan, who is also blind and an accomplished musician, the duo had judge Bruno Tonioli and the 4,000 strong audience on their feet within moments. “Every single person in the theatre is on their feet!” host Dec told the couple’s 11-year-old son Dimitri, who was listening from the wings with Denise’s guide dog Tilly.

Following the standout performance Simon Cowell said “you know, without people like you this show is nothing… I’m so happy that you made the decision to come on”, while fellow judge Alesha Dixon hailed Denise’s vocals as “faultless” and “beautiful”. Clearly moved by the couples’ performance, a tearful Bruno said “I’ve learned something today about your positive state of mind and the ability to have a sense of humour about yourself… you are an example… I admire you.”

With each judge then asked to vote yes or no to Denise and Stefan progressing to the next round Simon confirmed what everyone watching already knew with the words “That’s about a million yeses. Congratulations!”

The team behind The Battle Proms were equally thrilled to see their star soprano perform so brilliantly in Sunday’s programme. “We’ve known for 20 years that Denise is utterly amazing and we’re so excited to see her perform with Stefan to the nation. Denise, Stefan and Dimitri are very much part of our Battle Proms family, and we can’t wait to welcome them back to our concerts this summer” said Battle Proms Event Director Adam Slough. “And we’re delighted that we can finally announce that Dee will be performing Climb Ev’ry Mountain at our Hatfield concert on Saturday 20 July”

At the concert in the historic and leafy Queen Elizabeth Oak Field at Hatfield Park, Denise will perform with The New English Concert Orchestra in a programme that spans iconic pieces from film, tv and the musicals to beautiful classical favourites you’ll know and love. The audience will also be treated to the gorgeous vintage harmonies of the Battle Proms Belles warming up the crowd with their live band, a horseback ‘Cavalry through the Ages’ show plus breathtaking displays from the British Army’s world-famous Red Devils parachutists and the legendary Grace Spitfire. The evening will culminate with the dramatic Battle Proms signature piece, Beethoven’s Battle Symphony, performed with 193 cannons providing a thunderous percussion, before Denise leads the crowd in a jubilant flag-waving, sing-along finale with all the traditional ‘last night of the proms’ favourites under a sky of dazzling fireworks.

If you missed Denise and Stefan’s performance you can watch it in full on the Battle Proms Facebook and Instagram pages, or head to
to learn more and book tickets to enjoy Denise singing live at The Battle Proms.

Star of Battle Proms wows judges on Britain’s Got Talent - Hatfield Park