When I saw a video on the BBC website entitled “Girl, seven, stuns experts with opera”, I couldn’t help but click on it. The story was as you’d expect: Alma Deutscher, we are told, from Dorking in Surrey, has become an “internet sensation” after composing an opera called The Sweeper of Dreams at the tender age of seven.
The opening sequences feature the little girl playing piano, interspersed with interviews and extracts from her opera. Then the journalist says: “of course, no self-respecting child prodigy would be a virtuoso in just one instrument.” Cut to a shot of Alma playing the violin. She is being accompanied by a slim woman on the piano. The woman turns round and fixes the girl with an intense gaze, as if trying to make Alma play better through the force of willpower alone. You guessed it: this is Alma’s mother.
“At three,” Janie Deutscher recalls rhapsodically, “[Alma] heard a lullaby by Strauss, by Richard Strauss, and she came to us and said, ‘how can music be so beautiful?’ She was struck by the beauty of it.” Continue reading on the Telegraph website