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Subject: Cloakroom girl wows opera critics after standing in for soprano last minute
From: janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:31:35 -0700
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  * <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/15/cloakroom-girl-wows-opera-critics-standing-soprano-last-minute/#>
   
Milly Forrest, a front-of-house cloakroom assistant at Wigmore Hall, wowed audiences earlier this month
  
15 AUGUST 2017 • 10:54PM

A cloakroom girl wowed opera critics after she stood in for a soprano taken ill at the world famous Wigmore Hall. Milly Forrest, a 23-year-old usher who regularly works evenings at Britain’s leading chamber music venue, has been touted as a future star after she took to the stage last-minute.

Performing ensemble works by Franz Schubert and Ralph Vaughan Williams, Ms Forest enthralled the audience with her “exquisite performance”.

Her surprise promotion later earned rave reviews in the media, with one national newspaper critic describing her as “breathtaking” - with a voice that “floated heavenwards”.

Posting messages of support after the recital, an audience member added: “Milly Forrest did a splendid job, and I don’t just mean a splendid job under the circumstances.”

Ms Forrest was asked to step up by Wigmore Hall’s artistic director, John Gilhooly, who said he had heard “good vibes” about her singing abilities.

Agraduate of the Royal Academy of Music from west London, Ms Forrest said that the experience had been “terrifying” but that her life’s ambition was to “sing at one of the big opera house stages”.

“Some of the other artists recognised me because I’m sometimes the one who gives them their five-minute warning before concerts,” she told The Times. “I was so nervous I would put in an extra ‘g’ or an extra ‘t’.

“Because I work there it felt oddly comforting being on stage. It was performing with the other singers — people who are my massive idols — that was the terrifying part, the feeling that I didn’t deserve to be there.

“He [John Gilhooly] was taking a bit of a risk by letting me step up. I can’t put into words how grateful I am. There are so many other fantastic singers who work in the Wigmore Hall staff. It’s the perfect job.”

She added that since the recital she had been asked to apply for a grant for a masters degree at the Royal College of Music, which will begin in September. She will also be returning to her role as a cloakroom assistant at Wigmore Hall next month to help support her studies.

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