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.