Kineton schoolgirl to sing at prestigious festival

A KINETON schoolgirl’s dream of becoming a professional singer has taken one step closer to becoming a reality.

Sophie Kearns will take her place on a stage that will also be graced by world class performers at this year’s Longborough Festival Opera in July.

The 16-year-old has been selected to be part of the ensemble in a Young Artists production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which will be performed at the event in Moreton-in-Marsh, the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, on July 28 and 29.

Sophie, who attends Bloxham School near Banbury, has already performed on the professional stage when she was chosen to be part of an ensemble in a West End production of Carousel at the Savoy Theatre in 2009.

She said: “I am so excited. It will be really nice to be able to perform before so many people on stage. My family cannot wait to see me perform.”

A member of the National Youth Choir, the Bloxham School choir and the school’s Harmonics group, Sophie, who is in the middle of sitting her GCSEs, is concentrating on classical and opera singing for the moment - but she hopes to move on to become a rock singer and singing teacher.

Many previous participants in the Longborough Festival Opera’s education programme are now singing roles with major opera companies.

The entire company in this production of Sweeney Todd, which is directed by Maria Jagusz, with Kenilworth-based Richard Taggart as musical director, are aged between 16 and 25.

The festival’s three main productions will be Mozart’s The Magic Flute (June 9-16), Leos Janacek’s Katya Kabanova (June 26-30) and Wagner’s Gotterdamerung (July 17-24).

Tickets are now available.

Call 01451 830 292 or go online.