A YOUNG singing sensation who performs regularly at concerts around Burnley has scooped a prestigious international award, once won by Pavarotti.
Grace O’Malley (14) beat off competition from thousands of youngsters to be crowned under-15 voice solo award winner at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in North Wales.
She wowed judges with the emotion she put into her rendition of “Vaga luna” by Bellini.
Mum Maureen said: “Grace is over the moon. It’s such a big achievement. She got wonderful marks from the judges. It’s a sad love song and she had to convey that in Italian to the audience.”
Grace’s gold medal is the same accolade won by opera legend Pavarotti as a teenager in 1956.
The young singer, who lives in Crawshawbooth and attends Alder Grange Community Technology School and Sixth Form, Rawtenstall, performs regularly in Burnley and is an honorary member of the Burnley and Padiham branch of the Royal British Legion.
She has raised thousands of pounds for charity and her mum said she donated her prize money from Llangollen back to the festival.
She attends the Royal Northern College of Music and hopes to have a career as an opera singer.
“The judges said she would be one of the next big classical singers,” said Maureen. “She has been all over Welsh television. Grace is used to performing but I think her knees were knocking this time.”