Abbey College student Natalie has sights on operatic stardom

WHILE most teenagers might dream of becoming the next X-Factor sensation, one Huntingdonshire teenager has her sights set on wowing the opera world.

Unlike many of the hopefuls who appear in the endless round of reality TV talent shows, Warboys youngster Natalie Davies is prepared to work hard for her craft.

The 17-year-old mezzo-soprano has already proved her mettle locally with a host of awards including Abbey College’s Young Musician of the Year and overall winner of Huntingdon Rotary Club’s Young Musician competition. From September she will be performing with the brightest rising stars in the country after landing a place on a music degree course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

But the Abbey College sixth former is undaunted by the challenge. Since she was 13 she has dreamt of being an opera singer.

She said: “This is the first step on the ladder. It is not just the acting and singing, I love the orchestral music – it really affects the audience.

“I like the X Factor, but it is not something I would want to do.”

Though neither Natalie’s parents nor her 15-year-old brother Dana are musical, the youngster has an aptitude for music.

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Aged six she began learning the piano, and then the flute, before progressing on to singing. She has weekly one-on-one singing lessons with Huntingdon teacher Charne Rochford and performs regularly in choirs and the school band.

She has performed with Ramsey Choral Society, Huntingdon Male Voice Choir, Huntingdon Philharmonic and Sawtry Chorale.

Juggling her musical commitments with a part-time job at a pharmacy and studying for her three A-levels in music, human biology and English, can be tricky and Natalie admits she doesn’t know how she does it.

For the Guildhall audition, Natalie had to perform an extract from a play, as well as a song and pass an academic interview. Her plans are to specialise in her final year on vocal studies and move on to a postgraduate course.

In five years’ time she hopes to be performing in professional operas.

“If I had to choose a favourite opera it would be Carmen by Bizet – I would love to play Carmen one day.”