WHO says students take it easy? Jasmine Caine is in the second year of her history degree at the University of York, starting work now on her all important dissertation, 21st Century Depictions of The Tudors.

At the same time, she can be spotted on the buses, spinning tales of then and now as a York City Sightseeing tour guide, and next week soprano Jasmine is taking her first lead role for York Opera at the age of 19.

She will be playing Angelina, the flirtatious plaintiff in Gilbert and Sullivan’s light operetta Trial By Jury at the Kirk Theatre, Pickering on Wednesday and the National Centre for Early Music, York, from Thursday to Saturday.

Music has played a part in her life since she was ten, growing up in Leeds.

“I went to primary school at St Michael’s, Headingley, when I used to study cello with a wonderful teacher from the age of nine,” Jasmine says.

“But I scrapped it and became a singer – the easiest instrument to carry around! – and that was because she spotted my singing talent and introduced me to the amazing Mike Williamson, of Leeds Youth Opera, when I was 11.”

Her singing teacher backed up her cello teacher’s first instincts. “When she first saw me, she said, ‘You’re built for singing: big jaw, big tummy’. It’s just something that I’ve always enjoyed,” says Jasmine.

Making her debut in the Leeds Youth Opera chorus in 2003, she still performs for the society, playing Cupid in Offenbach’s Orpheus In The Underworld in February 2010 – “It’s the cheeks!” she says – and singing in the chorus in Verdi’s La Traviata in February this year.

“They’re one of the best youth opera companies out there and they’re really responsible for me understanding stage craft and how to sing to an audience,” says Jasmine.

She has sung with West Riding Opera and the University of York Opera Society too and York Opera is providing her with plenty of singing opportunities too, as she settled into the society last year in Dido And Aeneas, Merrie England and Gloriana.

“I was immediately struck by the strength of the chorus. Often amateur companies can have fantastic actors in the ranks but vocally there can be some weaknesses, but York Opera is universally strong – and they were very welcoming,” says Jasmine.

Now she steps up to Trial By Jury’s lead role of Angelina, who is bringing a case of breach of promise against Edwin (Hamish Brown) over their broken engagement.

“It’s a really good fun role, where she flirts outrageously with the judge and the jury,” says Jasmine.

“She’s very overly sweet, very flirtatious, definitely cunning and of course, most important part of all, she wins. It’s a real soprano part with a bit of chirpiness and a wedding dress that she comes to court in.”

Traditionally, the one-act Trial By Jury is performed with another short operetta, but in this instance, York Opera stalwart Clive Marshall, who will play the Judge, has devised a play as a prequel. Angelina’s Betrothal takes the form of Angelina and Edwin’s engagement party, complete with Victorian parlour songs, ballads and choruses and dialogue.

“We’re keeping the characters running through the evening, and the cracks in their relationship will already be evident at this party,” says Jasmine.

Looking to the future, after graduating from York, she intends to audition for a performance college such as the Royal Northern or Royal Scottish with a view to becoming a professional opera singer.

“I’m planning to take a year out after university to concentrate on music theory and doing a performance diploma, building up my experience and solidifying my technique,” she says.

“I’m also hoping to stay with my voice teacher, Catherine Thornton, in Tang Hall, who’s done wonders with my voice and technique in just the short time I’ve worked with her.”

While on the subject of Jasmine’s voice, she can be heard across York on her sightseeing bus tours.

“I’m a core guide, which means doing a minimum of 12 shifts a month,” she says. “I did an intensive training programme with a big pile of notes and then watched the crème de la crème of the guide, going round the routes with them, learning as you go along.”

Jasmine began her first season as a sightseeing guide in April and is relishing this alternative form of performing to an audience, although it does not entail any singing.

“They’re very keen on individual styles, so there’s no set script, which made the training fun. They like you to show your personality, or it would just be a lecture otherwise – and I get enough of those at university already,” she says.

Her immediate university challenge is her dissertation. So, what did she make of the very 21st century depiction of Henry VIII by Jonathan Rhys Myers and co in the BBC2 costume romp The Tudors? “They claim it was 80 per cent accurate but I’m not so sure,” says Jasmine.

“All that sex! They were doing positions that weren’t even invented at the time.”

• York Opera presents Angelina’s Betrothal and Trial By Jury at Kirk Theatre, Pickering, June 8, 7.30pm, and National Centre for Early Music, York, June 9 to 11, 7.30pm. Tickets: for Pickering, available from Television House, Pickering; for York, 01904 658338 or 01904 490303 or ncem.co.uk