Wilmslow opera singer wins place at prestigious music college

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Wilmslow's rising star Olivia Hamblyn is celebrating winning a place at the Royal Northern College of Music to study Vocal Studies and Opera.

Olivia, 17, already has a long list of credits having sung with the National Youth Choir for seven years and the Halle Youth Choir for four years, as well as the Junior Royal Northern College of Music Choir last year.

In that time she has performed both as a soloist and member of the choir in concerts all over the country including working with the Sir Simon Rattle in the Royal Albert Hall two years ago.

Olivia, who attends the King's School Sixth Form, said: "I practise formally four times a week, but in truth I am singing all the time and it's not just about developing the voice, but learning about pronunciation, intonation, acting and very importantly staying healthy, fit and strong.

"You have to exercise your stomach muscles and your diaphragm, eat properly and maintain a day in day out nutrition and exercise programme."

Olivia, also plays the piano, and wants to take a conducting course and although she says, "I like some pop music to listen to I certainly can't sing in that style. I love oratorios and my all time favourite piece is Elgar's Dream of Gerontius."

Dr. Julie Cocker, Principal of the King's School Sixth Form, said: "One of the great joys of a teaching career is being privileged to watch a talent develop and hear a remarkable voice such as Olivia's which sends shivers up your spine and leaves you with a sense of joy and wonder."

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