Eleven-year-old choirboy Jack Topping woke up this morning with the cheers of a Royal Albert Hall audience still ringing in his ears – and the plaudits of those who know a bit about singing suggesting a big future.
The young Liverpudlian was on the bill of the Classic Brits, sharing the stage with some of the greats of the classical music world, including pianist Lang Lang and violinist Nicola Benedetti.
Afterwards, he was still shaking with excitement as he spoke to RT.com about the thrill of performing. “It was amazing. I thought I would feel nervous but I didn’t really. I just can’t believe I’ve sung in front of all these famous people.”
Choirmaster Gareth Malone, whose new choir also performed at the awards ceremony, said schoolboy Jack had a very special voice. “He had some big notes to hit and he did it brilliantly. We were all willing him on backstage.” And the most famous boy soprano of them all, Aled Jones, also had words of encouragement for Jack. “He is endearing and natural and just an 11-year-old kid having the time of his life. Tonight is a big deal and it probably won’t hit him for quite a few days.”
Jack, who sings with the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Choir, is the youngest solo artist ever to be signed by Decca. He has also been chosen to be the voice of a new TV Christmas ad campaign for Save the Children, which is due to air next month.
As he cuddled his mum after last night’s performance of You’ll Never Walk Alone choirboy Jack was contemplating more immediate benefits of a late night’s work. “I’ve been excused choir lessons tomorrow morning so that means I don’t have to get up at 6am!”
Earlier during the ceremony, Luciano Pavarotti posthumously received a lifetime achievement award, presented to his widow Nicoletta Mantovani by Jose Carreras.