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The New Forest girl who learned to sing opera

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She grew up in the New Forest in the small village of Bartley. She loved to run outdoors and talk to the ponies and ride. When she was twelve, she discovered singing.

She sang for the first time in a pantomime, after the flu knocked down most of the chorus. The Hampshire County Council paid for her singing lessons when she was 14 and helped to fund her subsequent studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Her musical home is now the English National Opera.

She is Claire Rutter. The Telegraph wrote, "Claire Rutter gives a glorious display of bel canto, with elegant legato, supple crescendo and diminuendo, crisply articulated runs, stunning high notes and even a trill. She looks wonderful and moves regally."

She has formed a close relationship with the Summer Festival Grange Park Opera in Hampshire.

She is married to operatic baritone Stephen Gadd.

You can hear her rehearsing here. O!

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