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Valda Wilson of Raeburn Avenue has been awarded the prestigious Rockend National Opera Studio London Scholarship and will take up the award next month. The scholarship, valued at $82,000, will enable Valda to study at the National Opera Studio in London for 10 months.

Proud parents Bruce and Karen travelled to Melbourne in May to hear Valda perform with five other finalists at a public recital at Federation Hall in Melbourne. The Chair Adjudicator, Robert Allman, noted that: ‘Valda Wilson’s win was based not just on her outstanding performance, but also on the workshop which showed her versatility and ability to take direction.’

Valda’s inspiration for music was generated here in Castlecrag where she gained support and guidance from Christine Corrigan, her long-time piano and music theory teacher, Rodna Fitzsimons, who her taught her piano and singing at the Castlecrag Infants’ School, and the flautist Judy Huxtable. Nancy Fleming of the Sydney Opera Society also provided support and guidance over the years, while the Haven Carols and ‘Opera at the Haven’ offered opportunities to develop her skills.

Valda is a graduate of the Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she studied under Stephen Yalouris. She made numerous performances with the Conservatorium Opera School and with various Sydney amateur musical societies. Over the past three years Valda has performed in concerts throughout NSW and presented live recitals on radio 2MBS-FM as part of the Young Performers program. During 2008 she has been performing as Rosina in Opera Australia Schools’ Company production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia.

North Shore Times, 30 May 2008;

Bruce Wilson