A YOUNG soprano from Winsford has won one of the main prizes at an international festival.

Charlotte Hoather, 24, was crowned as the ‘Pendine International Voice of the Future’ at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, in Wales, and presented with a solid silver trophy and a cheque for £5,000 by Mario Kreft MBE.

Still pinching herself in disbelief, a thrilled Charlotte said she would be using the prize money to further her career.

She said: “I just want to sing opera; it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

Charlotte entered the same competition in 2012 and came third.

This year, she claimed the winners title ahead of Wrexham soprano Rachel Marsh, 25, and tenor Mark Christian Bautista, 26, of Calamba, in the Philippines who were each presented £2,500 cheques as runners-up.

Speakign about her performance, Mr Mario Kreft said: “I believe we have seen a star born as Charlotte Hoather was simply breath-taking and spectacularly talented.”

Charlotte studied for two years at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester before moving to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she completed her undergraduate studies and has now just finished a master’s degree at London’s Royal; College of Music.

The 24-year-old added: “The preliminary competition was tough and the standard was incredibly high. The atmosphere has been lovely and to win has just been amazing.

“It is about building a career now and I need to produce some videos to send out through the Young Artist programme to international opera companies. The prize money will help me pay for more lessons and to go and audition in other countries.”