A former Lornshill Academy pupil cannot wait to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Rosie Simpson (19), who is originally from Forestmill but is now living in the capital whilst studying drama and performance at Queen Margaret University, has been cast as female lead Susanna in Aria Alba's production of The Marriage of Figaro.

Set in 1930's Italy against the backdrop of social upheaval, rising fascism and looming war, this lively opera is one of Mozart's best-loved compositions.

Rosie told the Advertiser, "I'm really excited because I know it's the start of something big for me, but I'm a bit nervous because it's my first full operatic performance. To be playing such a large part at 19 is quite rare, so there's a lot of pressure to not mess up." The teenager has always been interested in drama and music. At school she got involved in concerts, musicals and plays - anything that involved performance.

She said, "I just love being able to step out of my own skin and into a different character's. Specifically about opera, I love the combination of music and acting. The clues that the music give inform your acting and make your emotions all the more true." Rosie first got involved with Aria Alba - Opera for All via her music teacher when going for her grade-8 singing.

The Edinburgh-based opera company is dedicated to providing a platform for young and emerging vocalists and technicians at the beginning of their professional careers.

Rosie said, "We aim to bring opera to all people in the community. We don't want it to be seen as elitist." Via Aria Alba the rising star sung two songs, solo Chi bel Sogno (Puccini, La Rondine) and duet Via, resti servita, before a BBC live relay of�La Boh�me�from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in May.

Following her degree, Rosie hopes to study a masters in opera with the view to becoming a professional opera singer.

She added, "I'm really appreciative of all the help I was given at school. The support for the arts is really inspiring. In five years I hope to be singing with some of the amazing opera companies we have in Britain and to have my highest note to be the A above high C." Aria Alba is putting on two productions of The Marriage of Figaro. The full version in original Italian will take place at Greyfriars Kirk (2-4 August) and in Bruntsfield Evangelical Church (9-11 August).

The youth production, narrated in English and featuring Rosie, will be held at Greyfriars Kirk on Saturday 4 August, 12-3pm.

For more information, go to www.ariaalba.org.uk.