Music prodigy to premiere first opera, aged 11

An English music prodigy is to premiere her first opera next month, despite being just 11 years old.

Alma Deutscher is a composer, pianist and violinist from Dorking.

Her opera Cinderella is to be performed for the first time on 29 December at Vienna's ornate Baumgarten Palace.

In her version of the fairytale, Cinderella is a composer, her step-mother is an opera director and the two step-sisters are nasty divas.

The prince is a poet who finds his love not through a glass slipper, but through a melody she wrote.

While Alma may have talent beyond her years in the concert hall, when she is not immersed in music, she is busy swimming, meeting friends and scraping her knees while climbing trees, like any normal child her age.

Her love of music goes back to the age of two when she says she remembers hearing a Strauss lullaby and asking how music could be so beautiful.

"Then I started having ideas of my own," she said.

"I'd just sit down at the piano, I didn't write my ideas down, I just had them in my head - I was four.

"If I try to sit down and think: 'now I must get inspiration', it doesn't come to me.

"But when I am not thinking about it at all - when I am just relaxing, skipping in the garden and just about to fall asleep or just about to wake up or when I'm actually in a dream - then I get the beautiful inspiration that I put together."

Being special "is really normal because I don't know anything else", she told Associated Press.

Her father Guy Deutscher said Alma started singing "almost before she started speaking".

He added that, despite being an "extremely good-natured girl", she would scream if her parents tried to get her out of the car while music she loved was still playing.

Mr Deutscher said that, while parenting a prodigy was a challenge, it had huge rewards.

He said: "Waking up in the morning and your daughter coming and saying: 'I have the most amazing melody, please come and listen'...It's an amazing feeling."