JOHN XXIII College student Ruth Bourke has been singing for as long as she can remember and this month won an Opera Australia Regional Student Scholarship.
The Wembley Downs resident successfully auditioned for the scholarship earlier this year, which will give her and three others a chance to perform for Opera Australia artistic director Lyndon Terracini in January.
She will also receive professional training from artistic, music, language and drama coaches at Opera Australia during January, as well as spend time backstage at the Sydney Opera House to get an insight into the working life of opera singers.
While it is not an average choice for a 14-year-old, Ruth said she had been interested in classical music for a long time.
“It’s a very mixed reaction from people at school,” she said.
“Obviously my close friends support me all the way but I do get quite a few people saying ‘why would you be interested in that sort of stuff’ from people who aren’t my friends.
“It doesn’t bother me because that’s what I’m into so I don’t really care, I like it.”
Ruth said her ultimate goal was a career as a professional opera singer, which requires a knowledge of language and drama.
“I have German lessons and I know a little bit of Italian and French too,” she said.
“There’s going to be training in language, movement and stage presence.
“I love drama as well, so the theatrical side is great.”
Ruth said opera singing was nerve-racking at first.
“Opera is like spicy food. It takes a little while to get used to but once you get into it it’s so amazing to get up there and belt out a song,” she said.
“The satisfaction of finishing a really big song in another language is fantastic – it’s just such a good feeling.”
Terracini said he was amazed at the amount of talent around the country.
“It is important for us to nurture and support these talented individuals with their journey into the music industry,” Terracini said.