Tween music prodigy's "Cinderella" opera set for Vienna debut

VIENNA -- Just 11 years old, Alma Deutscher’s talent is unmistakable.

But what makes her truly extraordinary is not her ability to play music, but to write it. And not just a song or two -- she composed an entire opera.

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Alma Deutscher

CBS News

Alma said it is wonderful to see her opera coming to life. “I don’t think you can even imagine how exciting it is because, you know, I’ve seen it all in my imagination, how it would sound like and how it would look like, and now finally it’s actually coming true,” she said.

CBS News got a peek of her new opera, which is currently in rehearsal and will run in a Vienna theater later this month.

Alma grew up outside of London and sang before she could speak. She said she does her best work when she’s most relaxed, often while playing with her skipping rope.

“When I wave it around like this and I tell stories in my mind, then a melody sometimes just springs into my head,” she said.

That’s how she came up with her version of “Cinderella.”

“I thought it was a little silly that Cinderella was found by a shoe. Why a shoe?” Alma said. “In my story, the prince finds her with a melody.”

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Alma at rehearsal with cast members of her opera “Cinderella”

CBS News

Alma is still getting used to the fairy tale turn in her own life.

“I think that if someone told me many years ago that my opera would be performed in Vienna, you know, the capital of music, then I would’ve laughed! I would’ve thought it was a joke!” she said.

She devours 100 books a year and doesn’t have a TV, computer, or smartphone. She doesn’t have the time.

“After this I want to write my piano concerto, and I’m also writing a book now which I want to publish and I want to make into a film, and then I want to write the music for it,” Alma said.

She’s excited too about opening in Vienna, but she’s already dreaming of another venue: New York.