Opera star returns to roots

Soprano Georgina Rosanna Murray

By David Hennessy

A soprano who has toured with Elton John and appeared in many operas is returning to her roots with a concert that will raise funds and awareness of a very worthy cause.

Georgina Rosanna Murray has recently returned to Manchester after 12 years in London and will display her talents to the local community with a concert at St Mary’s RC Church as part of the 2013 Levenshulme Festival.

The evening is in aid of Headlines, a charity which supports children affected by craniosynostosis. Craniosynostosis is a condition in which one or more of the fibrous sutures in an infant skull prematurely fuses by turning into bone, changing the growth pattern of the skull. Surgery is often needed at a very young age.

This is a charity that is very close to Georgina’s heart: “My niece was diagnosed with the condition last February so she had to have major head surgery. Her whole skull had to be taken off, rebuilt and then put back on and obviously my niece was four months when she was diagnosed with it so it was pretty horrifying to be told that your baby’s going to have to go through this massive surgery but the charity Headlines were amazing. It is the only charity in the UK and Ireland that helps families that has members with the condition.

“I think one in 1800 children are born with it and I think that is as common as down’s syndrome. People know about down’s syndrome whereas with craniosynostosis, my sister had to really fight to get my niece diagnosed and if it wasn’t for Headlines and all their information, I don’t think she would have felt she had that support.

“Doing these concerts and just talking about it, you never know, there could be someone in the audience worried about their child’s head shape and they could get the ball rolling in getting someone diagnosed.”

Georgina, whose father comes from Castlebar in Co.Mayo, saw the festival as the ideal opportunity: “I saw that the Levenshulme Festival was happening and I just approached the organisers and all of a sudden, it’s just becoming this massive thing now. Tony Hennigan who is organising it has been amazing.

“The idea really is to show the community that opera is accessible and it’s not just for people with money. I want to try and break down those barriers. That’s my mission in life. I think it can be for everybody.”

Georgina can be seen at St Mary’s RC Church on Wednesday October 30. For more details, go to: www.levenshulmefestival.co.uk.


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