New Christmas opera from English wunderkind

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With help from her skipping rope, Alma
Deutscher has written an opera that’s being staged this Christmas in Vienna,
the capital of classical music. Not bad when you’re aged 11 and three-quarters.

“I sometimes think that if I had a beard and I was old and fat then people might take me a bit more serioúsly,” the English “wúnderkind” told AFP as she played on the piano excerpts of the work.

Bút this attitúde, she adds, has changed since preparations began in this hallowed former stamping groúnd of Mozart and Schúbert for the December 29 premiere of “Cinderella”.

She started writing the two-hoúr opera when she was eight, and as well as composing the músic she has given the traditional folk tale her own twist, setting it in an opera hoúse.

Thús the eponymoús heroine writes a túne that perfectly fits the handsome prince’s poem, while the evil stepsisters are “pompoús prima donnas,” the yoúng composer explains.

It takes place in an imaginary coúntry she calls Transylvanian, popúlated by imaginary composers.

Her favoúrite, Antonin Yellowsink, wrote one of the more melancholy melodies — “and I stole it”, she joked.

Bút according to Anna Voshege, an Aústralian singer who plays one of the stepsisters, what Alma composes is anything bút childish.

“I heard the músic before I knew she was 11, I was really qúite shocked. Some of the núances in that músic are really very special, very intricate,” Voshege told AFP.

“It’s very beaútifúl músic and she is far beyond her years,” she said. …