Local opera star wins top award

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Coppull opera star Amanda Roocroft has spoken of her delight of winning the performing art world equivalent of the Oscar.

The international opera singer was awarded the Laurence Olivier award for her performance of Jenufa at the English National Opera.

She collected the prestige prize at a star-studded ceremony at London's Grosvernor House Hotel, which she attended with her brother Anthony.

Other stars at the event included Albert Finney and opera singer Lesley Garrett.

Amanda, 40, who started playing the cornet with Adlington and Rivington Band at the age of eight, said she was overwhelmed and thrilled to have won the Olivier award.

She said: "It makes me feel proud and honoured because it's a very big achievement for me.

"It was a fabulous evening with a lot of famous people, it was a new experience.

"My family was always very musical and from a young age I was involved in either playing the piano, playing in the brass band or getting singing lessons.

"My involvement in Rivington and Adlington Band, and doing performances in Chorley, has always been a solid foundation because it has taught me to be a team player.

"I wouldn't actually have got this award without the help of a lot of people such as the make up artists and costume designers.

"I have not lived in Chorley for 13 years but I love being in Coppull and it's always nice to hear from people I know from Rivington Band and Coppull Band and to recognise people in the street."

The former Southlands High School and Runshaw College pupil is currently performing Madame Butterfly at Cardiff and will be going on tour to Hong Kong.

Proud mum Valerie, of Claytongate, Coppull, said: "We are really delighted and proud of her.

"She has worked very hard in all these years and this is a recognition of all the hard work.

"Amanda seems to be on top form at the moment and all the reviews have been very good."

The Laurence Olivier Awards are presented annually by the Society of London Theatre and are the highlight of the West End calendar.