Fife teen takes lead role in opera

Susanna Davis will play one of the lead roles in Cinderella at the Adam Smith Theatre
Susanna Davis will play one of the lead roles in Cinderella at the Adam Smith Theatre

A 17-year-old girl from Aberdour has been chosen to take on a top operatic role in a forthcoming Fife production.

Susanna Davis has bagged one of the main leads in Fife Opera’s forthcoming production of Cinderella which will be performed at Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatre next month.

Susanna will be one of two Cinderellas in the opera by Massenet, performing on alternate nights in Fife Opera show from November 7-10.

Eleanor Hubbard, of Fife Opera, said: “It is very unusual for a singer so young to sing such a major role as it demands a strong voice and technique.

“However, Susanna so impressed the panel that they offered her the role.”

Susanna, who lives in Aberdour, attends St Mary’s Music school in Edinburgh and has been singing for as long as she can remember. She also began playing the piano at a very early age.

She said a major turning point for her was attending a vocal course in Atri in Italy, where she sang for Caterina Di Tonno and Roberto de Candi, two renowned opera stars.

They inspired her to follow classical singing as a career.

Susanna comes from a musical family.

Her sister is studying saxophone at Trinity College in London and her father is an opera singer.

She revealed coyly that a major ambition is to accompany her father on the piano.

Susanna has had previous experience of the stage and opera and starred as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at school and understudied a major role in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, a recent opera especially written for Opera Connect.

As well as serious singing, Susanna plays the double bass and piano and enjoys jazz.

When not playing music Susanna also enjoys creative writing and critical writing.

Cinderella by Massenet is rarely performed and this is only the second time that a Scottish company has staged the opera.

Although the work was originally written in French, Fife Opera always sings in English to make it accessible to audiences.

The story closely follows the original fairy tale and is one of the easiest to follow operas.

It is a comedy with some grotesque characters and it has been adapted slightly to give scope for a children’s chorus.

It is double cast with different principals singing the major roles on Wednesday and Friday from those on Thursday and Saturday.

The company cast its net widely for the best singers, recruiting professional singers who volunteered to perform and students of singing from the Royal Conservatoire.

Tickets for Cinderella are available from the Adam Smith Theatre (01592) 583302 or Fife Opera box office.