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Reginald Smith Jr. - An Opera Star In The Making

Reginald Smith Jr. from University of Kentucky gave a shot to opera 5 years ago when he went to Atlanta from Lexington to audition for opera. Fast forward to today, he's an international opera singer in the making, flying from Lexington to Houston for a studio artist vacancy in Houston Grand Opera.

He used to sing in the choir at his local church while growing up in Georgia. Smith's mother was the director, and opera was eventually introduced to him despite the fact that he didn't have any other formal music training. He and his brother joined elementary choir together. His brother gave up singing in school choirs but Smith continued.

Choosing the Right University

Smith saw his first opera in the 10th grade, and he says that was the turning point of his life and the moment when the ‘opera bug' bit him. Smith then began to look for colleges for further education in the field. He looked into the programmes that were being offered, how they were being perceived, and the activities alumni were involved in after graduation.

Smith was aware that music education degrees and coaching can help students in major cities such as New York and other lesser-known music culture cities to enhance their singing skills.

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Cannes 2013: The Runners Up

After looking at the Palme D'or winner at this year's festival Blue is the Warmest Colour last week, our film correspondent Séamas McSwiney explores those that missed out on the main prize but took others.

"To reinforce Cannes' role in projecting cultural diversity, the festival's other prizes went to a disparate mix of films.

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A Guide to Student Broadband

In the UK we're lucky enough to enjoy a wide choice of broadband providers with a huge number of packages up for grabs. That's great because we get to select a service at whatever price suits our budget, but the array of options can be slightly bewildering.

And if it's confusing for those of us who have lived in the country for some time, the problem is worse for visitors, particularly students coming to the UK to study who already have enough to contend with. While libraries, coffee shops, universities and colleges all offer free Wi-Fi it's very useful, if not essential, to have your own connection at home.

If you're new to the country and looking to sign up for internet service, here's what you need to know about getting broadband in the UK as a student.

Broadband and Contracts

Signing up to a fixed line broadband service will involve some kind of commitment to stay with the provider for a set amount of time. If you break this contract by leaving early you are liable to be charged a fee for the remaining months.

This can obviously be problematic for students who may not be staying in one place for a long period of time, and don't typically have a lot of cash lying about.

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Cannes 2013: The Winner - Blue is the Warmest Colour

In the Palme d'Or post awards press conference, jury president Steven Spielberg said, "...we were privileged to see this story of deep love and deep heartbreak evolve. we were absolutely spellbound by the brilliance of the performances of these two amazing young actresses. We felt that we needed to invite all three artists up on the stage at the same time." The jury exceptionally awarded the Palme to all three, director Abdellatif Kechiche and actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux

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Usain Bolt: The Power of Advertising Gone Wrong!

Good marketing is essential for any business, however a very attractive advertisement can distract people’s attention from the product itself.

Samsung introduced the new Galaxy S4 Smartphone and also formed a partnership with Usain Bolt. There was a big promotional event in Westfield, Stratford where the visitors could try out the phone.

However, there was also a banner depicting Usain Bolt in full length. I asked a lady walking along with two children to take a picture of me and Usain. It really looks like I was posing with Usain Bolt himself, and Mickey Mouse on my t-shirt only adds originality and a little bit of American culture.

In return, I offered the lady to take a picture of her and her children. One smile and I walked on. Suddenly, I realised that I hardly know what Bolt was actually advertising. Well, the ad was stronger than the product itself. Many people were so excited to have a photo with the world’s fastest man that they did not take notice of the free trial of one of the World’s fastest phones.

Similar on Saturday. The UEFA Champions League festival was going on in Stratford for several days. Fans, especially the kids, could participate in a myriad of activities which included taking a picture with the trophy.

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