Singer set to soar

Central Leader - - NEWS - By OLIVIA LANG­FORD-LEE

Filipe Manu’s clas­si­cal mu­sic ca­reer is about to take off.

The 21-year-old has been awarded a Freema­sons Dame Malv­ina Ma­jor Emerg­ing Artist In­tern­ship by New Zealand Opera.

Manu, who is orig­i­nally from How­ick, says he dis­cov­ered clas­si­cal mu­sic in 2010 dur­ing his fi­nal year at Dilworth School.

‘‘The school was do­ing free clas­si­cal lessons and my friend went along and told me I should try it. I was in the choir at the time and de­cided to give it a ago,’’ Manu says.

He pre­vi­ously en­joyed main­stream mu­sic and sang in his church’s band.

‘‘I find singing fun and en­gag­ing so it was an easy tran­si­tion, but clas­si­cal does in­volve a lot of train­ing. You don’t just pick up a note.’’

The tal­ented Ton­gan is one of the youngest to ever be selected for the in­tern­ship.

He will take part in vo­cal tu­ition, per­form in sup­port­ing roles and be in the choir for New Zealand Opera’s main­stage ac­tiv­i­ties as part of the in­tern­ship, which stretches into next year.

He is also study­ing to­wards a Bach­e­lor of Mu­sic, ma­jor­ing in clas­si­cal per­for­mance at Waikato Univer­sity on a Sir Ed­mund Hi­lary Schol­ar­ship.

The young talent has also won clas­si­cal singing compe- titions and hopes to even­tu­ally head over­seas to com­plete a masters and make singing a pro­fes­sion.

‘‘I would def­i­nitely like to sing as a pro­fes­sional later on.

‘‘Most sports­men aim to per­form at the high­est level and it is the same with per­form­ers. I want to keep learn­ing as much as pos­si­ble and get to a higher level.’’

Manu says many great singers have taken up the in­tern­ship be­fore him and it will be in­valu­able.

‘‘It will give me ex­pe­ri­ence I wouldn’t be able to get at univer­sity and put me in good stead for the near fu­ture,’’ he says.

New Zealand Opera says the five suc­cess­ful can­di­dates awarded in­tern­ships come from around the coun­try.

Manu was cho­sen through a panel au­di­tion and now has the op­por­tu­nity to work with in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als.

‘‘Each of the in­terns is ex­posed to a learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment that places em­pha­sis on prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence within the pro­fes­sional opera world,’’ New Zealand Opera says.

Clas­si­cal singer: Filipe Manu per­form­ing at a com­pe­ti­tion.

Opera dream: Filipe Manu has been selected for a New Zealand Opera


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