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Connie Fisher can no longer solve a problem like Maria

Northern Ireland-born star Connie Fisher has been forced to pull out of a stage production of The Sound Of Music, saying she no longer has the vocal range necessary for the role of Maria.

The 28-year-old, originally from Lisburn, who shot to stardom in the BBC talent show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, said that her voice had undergone a radical change as a result of a throat condition.

She was expected to play Maria in Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle and Wimbledon until the end of October in a touring production.

Fisher said: "After many months of battling with a throat condition, known as congenital sulcus vocalis, my vocal range has altered dramatically and it is with much regret that I have to withdraw from The Sound Of Music as I no longer have the range to sing the part of Maria.

"My journey with this amazing show has been such a magical one and I am devastated that I am not able to close the tour."

In 2009 Fisher had to call off a 14-date Secret Love UK tour to have immediate surgery on her vocal cords.

Specialists in the US advised her to act after diagnosing congenital fusion anomalies.

Doctors said it was a "miracle" she was able to have a singing career despite a throat condition which would have been present from birth.

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