Teenage opera sensation Grace O’Malley is Lancashire’s girl in a million.
The Red Rose songstress, who has vowed to raise £1m for charity, followed in the illustrious footsteps of mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins when she performed alongside a Chelsea pensioner in London last year.
Now 15-year-old Grace and 86-year-old Chelsea pensioner Denis Shiels, who performed a moving duet at the Queen’s Coronation jubilee concert, are teaming up again for a special charity show, organised by Clitheroe Rotary, at the town’s Grand Theatre this Sunday.
They will sing the wartime favourite, ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’, now released as a CD.
“Denis is a remarkable man, he has a truly lovely voice and we just seemed to hit it off,” said Grace, who has so far banked £50,000 for charitable causes.
“It is going to be lovely to have Denis here for the Clitheroe concert because we have become great friends through our music.
“It is an especially poignant time to remember the fallen of the two World Wars and other conflicts, so I’m proud to be singing with him again.”
Grace’s grandfather was a Royal Navy veteran of the Normandy landings and became the youngest honorary member of the legion three years ago after singing for them on many occasions.
Grace has emerged as one of the most exciting young voices in the country and her signing has already led to prestigious recognition; in 2012 she won the under-15 vocal solo competition at Llangollen International Eisteddfod, an accolade previously bestowed upon the late Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.
“My burning ambition is to be a professional opera singer one day,” said the Rossendale schoolgirl.
“I want to carry on singing and raising money for charity.
“I love doing both and it’s great to help people who are less fortunate.”
Classically trained since the age of six, she draws from a wealth of material, from Kathleen Ferrier to a range of musical theatre and opera.
It is not just Grace’s stunning vocal range that has gathered many admirers.
Her performances and subsequent fund-raising for a number of charities – including the North-West Air Ambulance, Save the Children and Pendleside Hospice – saw Grace win the BBC Rotary Young Citizen Award this year.
Augmenting Grace’s varied reportoire at Sunday’s concert, entitled Blast Through Time, will be the Slaidburn Silver Band. Tickets for Sunday’s show are available from the Grand box office for £9 at 01200421599.