One of the first things noticeable when glancing over the track list for The Two Towers soundtrack is the increase in artists lending their vocal talents to Howard Shore’s tracks. While international star Enya eclipsed her colleagues on The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack, particularly after the shambolic advertising campaign from Reprise Records, this time the star-status of the sopranos are much more evenly spread. Here’s a look at some of these artists who’ll tear at our heartstrings come December:

Emiliana Torrini: Track 19 – “Gollum’s Theme”

In addition to her vivid imagination, a slightly nomadic childhood and a curious blend of ethnicities combined to inevitably launch 21 year-old singer Emiliana Torrini into the life less ordinary that she now calls her own. Raised in Iceland by an Icelandic mother and an Italian father, she spent summers with her grandmother in a remote corner of Eastern Iceland, and also resided with her uncle in Germany. As a youngster, she was given only a cursory introduction to music: a bit of classical, Italian pop and Icelandic folk songs.

Isabel Bayrakdarian: Track 8 – “Evenstar”

Young, stunning soprano, ahead of her years in both voice and musicianship, Isabel Bayrakdarian is gaining international prominence for her electrifying stage presence and captivating voice. Since winning the Metropolitan Opera Competition in 1997, and many others since then, she has become one of the hottest young sopranos in demand today. Her most recent triumph is first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2000 Competition.

Sheila Chandra: Track 14 – “Breath Of Life”

Born in South London to a South Indian immigrant family, Sheila Chandra discovered her voice at the age of twelve and whilst at Theatre Arts school. From this moment her chosen path was to be a singer. Lacking any real contacts or access to the music business, she nevertheless honed her vocal skills as a labour of love, spending up to two hours a night throwing her voice into the tall, draughty and uncarpeted stairwell of the family home: “I didn’t know how to manufacture an opportunity, but I was determined that when a chance came my way I would be ready.”