Red Deer’s Olivia Smith, blessed with a beautiful vocal talent well beyond her 12 years, is humble and grateful for her amazing gift.
She landed an appearance on Canada’s Got Talent, and audiences will learn how she does in terms of the semi-finals on March 26 (the episode airs on City TV).
Olivia’s televised performance wowed the audience in Calgary awhile back when the series made a stop there. The show features a range of performers from singers and dancers to magicians and comedians.
Auditions were held across the country over the past several months.
Olivia, who is in Grade 7, was pretty much tuning into the power of song as an infant.
“I knew that I wanted to sing since I could first talk and walk,” she explains. “I would listen to my mom, because she would sing during our church’s worship.
“You could hear me singing in the pews – really, really loud.”
Over the years, her gift became all the more apparent. And she quickly grew to feel quite at home on the stage.
These days, she takes singing lessons with local teacher Cheryl Valentine.
“She’s helped me the whole way through. She’s amazing.”
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.
“Classical is what my voice is built for. I like the way it flows, and I like the sound of it,” she adds, noting her favourite vocalists include classical giants Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban. She sings in several languages including Italian, French, Latin and German as well.
Meanwhile, Olivia has landed her share of awards over the years including two provincial championships at Grant MacEwan College. She also studies under the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Canadian Conservatory of Music.
Besides her remarkable ability to cover classical masterpieces, she handily tackles jazz and country as well, belting out a stunning cover of Martina McBride’s Wild Rebel Rose.
As for her appearance on Canada’s Got Talent, she says the entire experience has been a delight.
Her performance of Caro Mio Ben, which can be viewed on YouTube, was stellar and it landed raves from judges Martin Short, Measha Brueggergosman and Stephan Moccio. “I was really excited,” she recalls of the moment she strode onstage. There may have been a touch of nervousness, but the sheer joy of being able to take part in Canada’s Got Talent was paramount.
“I was more excited than anything,” she says. “They were so nice — it was a really good, fun experience.”