Opera singing dentist hits top notes

It has always been our aim to reveal the rich extra-curricular talent that exists in Manchester Dental graduates/students. Up to now this talent has been largely sport orientated but this article shows how diverse that talent really is. If you want to see how good a performer Delsa Ghorbani is, Google her name and watch her You Tube clips, particularly her performance singing Carmen in a concert performance at the Manchester Opera House.

I would like to introduce myself as Delsa Ghorbani, a 22 year old Dental Student and operatic-pop singer from Birmingham, UK. My passion for opera began from the age of five when I watched Luciano Pavarotti sing Caruso and from that day on I was spellbound. In all honesty music plays a massive role in my life; I feel like it is part of my very soul and being. I was lucky to have parents who deeply encouraged my siblings and I to learn to play instruments at a young age; I was given a guitar for my 4th birthday, followed by a violin for my 5th and a flute for my 6th…. All else is history!

I now delight in playing 7 instruments for leisure and enjoy composing classical, orchestral and operatic scores as a passtime for a variety of Iranian musical companies. Singing however – in particular opera- came to me at a later age. From the age of 3, my parent’s sent both my sister and I to the Italian ballet, jazz and Stage Coach extraordinaire Sheila Marie with whose guidance and training we were lucky to be part of shows competitively nationwide, gaining 96 Bronze, 180 Silver and 231 Gold PA Medals. It was in the Italian school where Ms Marie discovered I could sing opera and, in all honesty, I owe her the start of my vocal career as she encouraged me to audition for and gain headlining performances in shows across the country such as Mary Poppins and Oliver Twist.

Alongside my professional performance career, at school I also enjoyed being part of the drama department where I was lucky to have performed in an array of musicals over the years including Les Misérables, Vanity Fair, Les Petit Rats and Hairspray. At school, I also enjoyed being part of the Choral society, Chorus and Chamber Choir (which I helped run when I was more senior). Orchestra was also a huge part of my life and I partook in one both inside and outside of school.

Since 2009, I have taught GCSE Science & Music at Kings Norton Complementary School and Birmingham Iranian School (which are charitable supplementary schools teaching over 1000 students in Birmingham at the weekends) that my parents set up alongside their careers as a Medic and an Architect. For this I have obtained my HSE and First-Aid Qualifications, attended BASS Training seminars and as a great bonus performed annually at the Birmingham City Council Achievement Ball. Alongside music, I have always had a deep passion for science. In 2010, I was awarded one of 16 places on a highly competitive National Student Apprentice Scholarship for NASA’s Kennedy & Johnson Space Centres where I shadowed engineers and underwent time-pressured group work in both Texas and Florida.

In my gap year, I was auditioned for and was privileged to be one of the live show finalists on the Iranian X Factor and Googoosh Music Academy, which aired internationally on Manoto TV. The show exposed me to a new working environment which truly put me out of my comfort zone and placed a lot of responsibility in my hands; this being the duty to represent to lost ‘voice’ of Iranian women (it is a criminal offence for women to sing solo in Iran). In 2013, I was exceedingly privileged to have been able to headline in KOKO Club in London with a full band and it was also aired on Iranian Television.

Since the X Factor, I have released many songs that have been aired on international stations such as BBC Persian, Radio Javan and Bia2. In 2015, I was given the honour of becoming an Iranian Women’s Rights Ambassador for the Non-profit Organisation ’30 Voices’ for which I have created artwork, poetry, music and released a music video ‘Ahange Barabari’ (‘The song of equality’). My promotional work for this cause again places a lot of responsibility in my hands as well as making me exercise my leadership, networking and time management abilities.

Because of my work for 30 Voices, on International Women’s Day 2015 I was honoured to be interviewed and have my music video featured on Andisheh TV. In 2015, I was also fortunate to be the opening act of the London Show of Max Amini’s Comedy World Tour. Being a huge fan of his work, this was a great opportunity to perform alongside him and to also raise money for ALS.

I have been truly blessed to be able to combine my love for music and Dentistry since starting University; I was lucky to come 1st place nationally in ‘Dental Student’s Got Talent 2014’ hosted by Dental Protection and in 2015 I was invited to perform at the British Association of Oral Surgeon’s Annual Black Tie Dinner at Gorton Monastery (and subsequently at a Christmas concert for the whole Dental Faculty).

In Manchester, I have also been lucky to perform in the National Azerbaijani Music festival for three consecutive years now, with subsequent interviews and features on TV and radio stations in Azerbaijan. Other than music, as an undergraduate I have also had roles as an OC in the University Royal Naval Unit and subsequently a Med. Officer in the Naval Reserves. This has meant passing all elements of the training including the bleep, medical and swimming test and also summer deployments abroad and officer training.

Other leading roles that I have enjoyed doing at university include becoming the Social Secretary of the Hulme Hall JCR, Form Leader and Young Enterprise Leader (for which I won a Civic Society Gold Award). In 2014, I was also awarded the UofM Best in Year Anatomy D1 Dissection Award alongside my talented partner, Catherine Eustace. Currently I am involved in a few musical projects which include writing scores and lyrics for my upcoming album and classical scores for soon to be announced charitable causes.

One thing I will always say – the busier you are, the more you manage and appreciate your time and so the more you get done. There have been truly challenging times where I have felt that I have bitten off more than I can chew given the time restraints, but with the constant love and support from my family and friends, Church and educators, I have felt confident in pursuing my ambitions.

If it wasn’t for my love of Dentistry I would have aspired to study opera. Now I live a double-life; I study dentistry by day and perform by night! My ultimate wish in life is to try and make people happy by enhancing their health and appearance through Dentistry and also mentally too with my music.

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