Sporty singer puts it all on the line for art

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Sara Fitz­patrick

THE only peo­ple who go to the opera th­ese days are the rich and the old, says fresh-faced clas­si­cal singer Matt Dixon.

“I think young peo­ple see it as an elit­ist thing they can’t ac­cess,” he said.

“But if you have a night at the opera where you have some­one re­ally good singing some­thing ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic, it changes your soul. It trans­ports you to an­other place where you can let go.”

The Perth crooner, also a ten­nis buff play­ing State grade for Mt Law­ley Ten­nis Club, trav­els to Lon­don this month to au­di­tion for the pres­ti­gious Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Drama.

It’s a huge op­por­tu­nity for the 20-year-old Dixon, who was hand­picked to au­di­tion for the in­sti­tute fa­mous for train­ing ac­tors Ewan McGre­gor and Daniel Craig.

“All my mates are sporty ten­nis play­ers and think, ‘Come on Matt, when are you go­ing to give up this clas­si­cal mu­sic thing?’ and I did dab­ble around in try­ing to learn the gui­tar and things like that but I ab­so­lutely loved mu­si­cals and went from there,” he said.

“The first ever solo I did was in Year 5, where I sang the school song in front of ev­ery­one and I was ab­so­lutely crap­ping my­self and it was aw­ful but I loved it at the same time.

“I went straight from school to WAAPA and started tak­ing opera more se­ri­ously ev­ery year I was do­ing it un­til now when I’m think­ing I might be able to make a ca­reer out of this.

“As soon as you walk on stage you feel as though it’s a dif­fer­ent world where you can be your­self – which sounds a bit weird be­cause you are go­ing to be your­self pri­vately – but you can af­ford to take risks and com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple in a way you wouldn’t by your­self at home.”

When asked whether he was ner­vous about au­di­tion­ing for Guild­hall, Dixon sur­pris­ingly an­swered “No”.

“I’m not ner­vous be­cause I’m so young in this world; in the opera world, 20 is like a baby,” he said.

“They say the male voice doesn’t fully de­velop un­til you are in your mid 30s and 40s, so I’ve got a while to go and that’s a prob­lem be­cause I’m so ea­ger to get into this busi­ness and start earn­ing money and en­ter­tain­ing peo­ple but I can’t be­cause I’m so young.

“It’s frus­trat­ing, but if you ac­tu­ally make it and get there, it’s in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing; if you do make it.”

Dixon’s long-term dream is to sing one of the big­gest roles at the Royal Opera House in Lon­don.

For now, he will per­form Schu­mann, Strauss, Bern­stein, Gounod and Du­parc at the WAAPA Grad­u­a­tion recitals on Novem­ber 14.

Guests can see him and fel­low grad­u­at­ing stu­dents per­form free hour-long con­certs at the cam­pus through­out the month.

Pro­gram at www.waapa.ecu.edu.au.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d445618

Matt Dixon was hand­picked to au­di­tion for the pres­ti­gious Guild­hall School.

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