Norfolk opera teenager records album

A budding Norfolk opera singer has moved a step closer to a career in music after recording his debut album and performing in a London musical.

Teenager Callum Bicknell, who got his first break on stage in Norwich, has been touted as the new 'prince of opera' after producing his first classical album.

The 16-year-old, of Thelveton, near Diss, has also just finished a week-long role performing in a central London theatre.

And the student is fitting in the growing demand for his operatic voice alongside studying his A-levels at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, in Hertfordshire.

The former Norwich School pupil yesterday said he was trying to keep his feet on the ground after his recently recorded album was attracting interest from big names in the classical musical world.

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Callum, who spent the last week playing Pontius in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Shaw Theatre in central London, said it was 'fantastic' to be involved in such a high budget production.

The classically trained Baritone said things were moving 'very quickly' and it was hard to believe that he had recorded an album at such a tender age.

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'We are talking to a lot of very interested people in the classical world. It is all very much classical opera and a lot of it has been recording things in my own style. There are a couple of classical names that are quite interested and putting things down on the table, but I do not want it to interfere with my education,' he said.

The singer's passion for music and performance was born at an early age when he started singing in school choirs and made his debut on stage at the age of 11.

At 13, he successfully auditioned to appear with the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society as the Bellboy in their 2008 production of Titanic at the Norwich Theatre Royal and a year later was cast in the role of Luis in their production of West Side Story.

But Callum started attracting the attention of classical music figures after he narrowly missed out on winning a recording contract after reaching the final of the Open Mic talent competition two years ago. And last year, he produced his own show, 'pOperatically Speaking', at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Emily Stanghan, of Eaton, Norwich.

He added that it would be good to perform again in Norfolk when he finishes his A-levels, but his ultimate ambition was to perform at the Royal Opera House in London.

'I do not think that I always knew I wanted to do this, but it has grown on me and I'm confident I could do it professionally,' he said.

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