Singer Olivia Smith performing in City show

Former Red Deerian and gifted vocalist Olivia Smith will be performing in the City June 12th at the First Christian Reformed Church.

The concert begins at 7 p.m.

“I am coming to Red Deer for a concert to help with sponsorship for my first opera this summer, and also for a tour to New York,” said Smith, adding that admission to the concert is by donation, and any help would be appreciated.

At 16 years of age, Smith already has a spectacular voice. And with a terrific opportunity before her with Opera Kelowna, her future as a powerhouse singer seems to be that much more of a sure bet. Smith and her family relocated to Kelowna from Red Deer last summer. The decision to move there followed a holiday to the city, and a meeting with Kelowna singing instructor Alexandra Babbel, a world-renowned soprano.

“I sang for her, and there was role in the opera Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro),” recalls Smith.

Babbel was impressed with what she heard following Smith’s audition to become a student, and she offered Smith a role of Barbarina in the production which runs this Aug. 14th-15th.

In the meantime, Smith has already been sharing her gift with the Kelowna community via Opera Kelowna via events such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day concerts.

Smith is well-known to local audiences here in Red Deer, having performed with Central Alberta Theatre, the Kiwanis Music Festival and various other community events as well. Her voice is indeed magical, and from the time she was about seven years old, she knew that she wanted to be a performer.

For about eight years, she studied with Cheryl Valentine in Red Deer. And interestingly, she first had set her sights on country singing. But her parents wanted her to pursue classical training to begin with.

Over time, she grew to love the genre, and today, it’s clear that studying classical music has provided her with a foundation that opens doors to nailing any number of styles.

Another highlight this spring will be that aforementioned trip to New York City that Babbel has planned for several of her students. Performances there will include shows with the Brooklyn Children’s Choir. Venues include the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Trinity Cathedral which is across the street from Ground Zero.