Stage set for teen's operatic debut

While most teenagers dream of becoming the next Kylie or Robbie Williams, Nick Allen has his heart set on a future in opera.And this week, after years of perseverance, the 19-year-old tenor from Lowestoft has secured a prestigious £2,000 entrance scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

While most teenagers dream of becoming the next Kylie or Robbie Williams, Nick Allen has his heart set on a future in opera.

And this week, after years of perseverance, the 19-year-old tenor from Lowestoft has secured a prestigious £2,000 entrance scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Over the next four years he will study for a Bachelor of Music in voice at the world-renowned institution, before specialising in the art of opera singing.

He said: “I just can't believe it; I just can't put into words how happy I am. Two years ago I wouldn't have even dreamed of applying to such a prestigious college, let alone thought I would be offered a scholarship. It's quite overwhelming.”

But according to Nick, the X-factor has nothing on the judges at Guildhall.

He said: “I think the audition was the most nerve-wracking things I have ever done in my life. One of the people on the panel was Rudolf Piernay, one of the top professors of singing in the country.

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“I had to do a sight test, singing from a sheet of music by sight. It's not something I have done much of so I didn't do very well.

“I was devastated, but then when they took me through to the interview they offered me a scholarship. I couldn't believe it.”

Nick started singing when he was a toddler, going on to join a number of choirs and singing groups.

But it was during a performance at Lowestoft's Seagull Theatre that he decided he wanted to pursue singing as a career.

He went on to join the Lowestoft Players, with ambitions of becoming a singer in musical theatre and t was here he was advised to seek professional singing lessons.

Now, within a year of working with his new teacher and director of Beccles Choral Society, Vetta Wise, he has secured a scholarship at one of the most prestigious music colleges in the world.

Ms Wise said: “I am absolutely delighted for him. Nick obviously had talent when he first came to me, but he has been like a sponge, taking in everything I have offered him. He has worked extremely hard to achieve this.

“The world is his oyster now; he is going to one of the top institutions in the country in the world's capital of culture.

“How far he gets will depend on him and his attitude, he will have to keep a level head and work extremely hard, but he does that now so there is no reason why he won't continue.”