September 5, 2008

West End Star to Tutor Our Stars of the Future


THE FIRST lady of the West End Elaine Page and I'll Do Anything finalist Niamh Perry were today preparing to stage a free masterclass for gifted young singers from the North West.

Four young people from Londonderry and Coleraine will join 14 others from across Northern Ireland at the Grand Opera House in Belfast tomorrow for the day-long class.

Ms Page, who has starred in leading productions of musicals such as Chess, The King And I and Evita, has agreed to give the class for free as patron of the Irish charity, Music Theatre 4 Youth.

The young people, including Derry teenagers Mairead Carlin and Natalie Armstrong and Coleraine's Gillian and John Wisener, were selected during open auditions staged across Northern Ireland.

Niamh Perry, finalist in I'll Do Anything, is returning to Belfast especially to take part in the masterclass before heading back to pick up her work with Andrew Lloyd Webber in Phantom of the Opera 2.

A spokeswoman for the charity said today: "MT4Uth is much more than an amateur youth group.

"It was established to fill the huge void between the training and experience available in Northern Ireland and the training opportunities available to there counterparts in England.

"It is too costly and impractical to take every potential leading lady or man to England so MT4Uth has spent the last three years bringing in the experts here."

In their weekend masterclasses, young people get the chance to work with professional directors, choreographers and musical directors.

Originally published by BRENDAN MCDAID [email protected]

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