Preston opera starlet wins London scholarship

THRILLED: Louisa Stirland

THRILLED: Louisa Stirland

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A Preston opera starlet has won a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London after wowing the acclaimed university in her audition.

Thrilled 18-year-old soprano Louisa Stirland, who lives in Broadgate with parents Tony and Dianne, said: “I auditioned and was accepted on the day and offered a partial-scholarship for achievement in my performance”.

The Royal Academy of Music is world renowned, with former pupils including Katherine Jenkins, Annie Lennox and Elton John (who also won a scholarship).

Mum Dianne, 50, says both her are husband Tony are “so proud” of Louisa, adding: “She leaves me speechless sometimes. Myself and her father can’t even read music, let alone sing, and she’s got herself a scholarship to this amazing school.

“It means that someone else believes in her too.”

Future star Louisa sang at the funeral of Sir Tom Finney and has even performed for Prime Minster David Cameron.

St John’s Minster on Church St, Preston, saw Louisa and fellow young musicians perform earlier this week to raise funds for her living costs in the expensive capital.

Organiser Fr Timothy Lipscomb said: “To get accepted to the Academy is one thing but to get a scholarship is another world.

“We are all looking to help Louisa out as much as we can on her journey.”

This will be Louisa’s first time away from home as she heads south to start her new life. “I’ll be sad to leave my mum and dad as we’re very close but I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

“It’s the friendliness I’ll miss about Preston though; I’ll always be a proud Preston girl.”