That's the spirit! Opera singer hits high notes in Upminster
PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 February 2015
Jodie Downs Photography
A young opera singer was "shocked" to be crowned champion of a talent contest on Saturday.
Courtney Abrahams, 15, from Aveley, was named winner of the Spirit Factor at the final held at the Essex Yeoman pub in Station Road, Upminster.
The singer was among 13 contestants at the final and took the title after seeing off about 80 competitors.
Courtney, a pupil at Gaynes School in Brackendale Gardens, Upminster, wowed judges and is hoping the win is just the start in a long career in music.
She said: “I have never won anything like this before, I’m just really happy.
“It’s a really special competition because I have made some really good friends too and we’ve all become quite close.”
The singer became interested in opera after hearing her dad play it after the death of her grandmother five years ago.
Courtney is putting her education first despite the win.
She said: “It’s really hard to make it in music, so you do need your grades too. A lot of people think you don’t need them at all. I want to get my grades and do performing arts at college and go on to university.”
She added: “I’d urge other people to go for it – it doesn’t really matter what happens, it’s a brilliant opportunity.”
The Spirit Factor has been entertaining audiences since 2009 and has a £1,000 prize fund.
Organiser Kat Price, who has been singing for 15 years, said: “It’s about giving these singers the opportunities I never had, giving them exposure and the opportunity to network.
“It’s about meeting new people getting feedback on your act.”
She added: “The quality of the talent this year was just outstanding. It’s been one of the best we’ve done – the talent is just getting harder and harder to judge!”
The Essex Yeoman general manager Ross Sutton said: “Spirit factor has been an amazing talent competition. We are proud here at the
Essex Yeoman to co-host such a great show and the amazing prize fund that was on offer. A huge well done to Courtney for winning!”