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Singing teachers to open for superstar soprano Katherine at Llangollen

Duo delighted to be chosen for role at International Musical Eisteddfod

Singing teachers to open for superstar soprano Katherine at Llangollen. Lorna Kettle with, seated from left, vocal coach Janet Haney, Anne Williams-King, vocal coach Deborah Lea and David Bartleet

Two teachers from West Cheshire are among budding opera singers who will be a warm-up act for superstar soprano Katherine Jenkins at this summer’s Llangollen Eisteddfod.

Lorna Kettle and Karen Davies are in for the experience of a lifetime after being invited to appear on the outdoor stage at July’s 70th Eisteddfod opening day.

They have been raising the roof at a Llangollen church while being put through their paces by husband and wife opera voice coaches Anne Williams-King and David Bartleet.

Piano teacher Lorna, 45, from Tilston, near Malpas, says having the chance to sing on stage at the Llangollen International Music Festival would be a dream come true.

Opera voice coach Anne Williams-King with Cardiff singer William Rennie

The mezzo soprano said: “I did my degree in music 25 years ago at Liverpool and have never sung since. I just concentrated on piano. But Anne has helped me find my voice again.

“She has been my singing teacher for a while and although I’m probably a little long in the tooth to become a professional opera singer I could still enjoy performing at an amateur level.

“The thought of singing, on stage, at Llangollen on the same day that Katherine Jenkins is appearing is just so exciting. It will be an experience never to be forgotten.”

Katherine Jenkins

Soprano Karen Davies, 28, a trainee teacher at the University of Chester and currently working at Kingsley Primary School near Frodsham, said: “I graduated from Bangor University with a degree in music and really wanted to be a composer.

“However, that changed and now I just want to sing opera but haven’t had any formal lessons or tuition.

“I was accepted to do a post grad Masters degree in operatic performance in London but I simply couldn’t afford to do it. Music and singing courses are so expensive which is why Anne’s course is a godsend.

“I’m keeping my options open and teaching will be a good career choice but if the chance came along I’d choose opera. I still have ambitions to be on stage.”

Karen, who lives in Wrexham with her engineer partner, Gareth Samuel, added: “It’s going to be an amazing event and a fantastic opportunity for me and the other singers on Anne’s course.”

Eisteddfod chairman Rhys Davies said: “It’s a big opportunity for these talented young singers and a chance to let a critical audience see them perform. I’m sure it will be an exciting evening and one they will never forget.”

This year’s Eisteddfod begins on Tuesday, July 5, when Katherine Jenkins gets the programme off to a sensational start as she sings Bizet’s Carmen with American tenor Noah Stewart.

Born to a poor mother in Harlem, New York, Stewart became the first black artist to top the classical chart.

To book tickets and for more details go to www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk .

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