Soprano, 12, signs five-album opera deal

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The Independent Online
A SCHOOLGIRL opera singer has spoken of her excitement after signing a five-album contract with the recording giant Sony.

Twelve-year-old Charlotte Church is thought to have earned a six-figure advance from the deal. She was personally signed up by the president of Sony UK, Paul Berger, after he realised the huge potential of her classical style.

But the young soprano is refusing to let the prospect of instant stardom go to her head.

"I don't want to build up my hopes too much, in case it doesn't work out," she said. "But it is very exciting". Charlotte, of Llandaff, Cardiff, has a strong voice which she hopes will make her as famous as her idol, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

A talent spotter realised her potential when she appeared on a local television show.

The youngster, an only child, will begin recording her first solo CD, with backing from the Welsh National Opera orchestra, next month. It is due for release at Christmas or early next year.

Her parents James, 33, and Maria, 32, are delighted that her talent is being recognised. Maria said: "Charlotte is excited but she is also mature for her age. Even if she doesn't get the success we hope for, she will still have had some great experiences on the way."