Bari­tone se­cures singing schol­ar­ship

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - AN­DRE CHUMKO

‘‘I wasn’t par­tic­u­larly mu­si­cal to be­gin with, but some­where along the way I came across this fun-lov­ing, zany, risk­tak­ing en­vi­ron­ment that was the mu­sic de­part­ment.’’

Per­form­ing did not al­ways come nat­u­rally for young Welling­ton opera singer Ben Rea­son.

The 20-year-old for­mer Onslow Col­lege stu­dent has re­cently been awarded a schol­ar­ship to study singing at Lon­don’s pres­ti­gious Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Drama.

While he has worked as a free­lance vo­cal­ist since he left high school three years ago, he says his de­sire to be on stage was not a life­long as­pi­ra­tion.

‘‘I wasn’t par­tic­u­larly mu­si­cal to be­gin with, but some­where along the way I came across this fun-lov­ing, zany, risk-tak­ing en­vi­ron­ment that was the mu­sic de­part­ment.’’

He cred­its his teacher, Onslow Col­lege’s co-head of mu­sic Justin Pearce, with spark­ing his in­ter­est.

‘‘You fol­low your men­tors and the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple who show you what’s out there. It just suited me and I love the mu­sic.’’

Rea­son says the feel­ing he got when he stepped out into the lights for the first time has stayed with him.

‘‘I know once I’m out on stage and I’m look­ing the au­di­ence in the eye, I’m hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with some­one.

‘‘All it’s down to then is that emo­tional nar­ra­tive with an au­di­ence, and hope­fully they can con- nect to it. If they be­lieve what you’re singing, that emo­tion will carry on to them and for me that’s an in­cred­i­bly spe­cial mo­ment. That’s why I do it.’’

The class will host about 15 peo­ple from across the globe, but Rea­son, a bari­tone, be­lieves he is the only per­son se­lected from the south­ern hemi­sphere.

His fu­ture qual­i­fi­ca­tion, a Bach­e­lor of Mu­sic with Hon­ours, en­com­passes vo­cal per­for­mance, stage craft and mu­si­cian­ship. Classes start in Septem­ber.

De­spite the fact he will soon leave the coun­try for four years, Rea­son says he can­not see him­self stay­ing away for long. ‘‘This is where I be­long.’’ Rea­son hopes his pas­sion for opera will in­spire other young peo­ple to take it up.

‘‘Peo­ple feel it may be a pre­ten­tious, in­ac­ces­si­ble thing which isn’t meant for them, or that it’s meant for peo­ple of a higher class. But it’s a base emo­tive lan­guage, any­one can com­mu­ni­cate with that.’’

Rea­son is host­ing a fundraiser con­cert on Sun­day, July 30, at St An­drew’s on the Ter­race at 7pm. Koha. Do­na­tions can also be made at boosted.org.nz/projects/bens­ings-at-guild­hall.

Ben Rea­son Welling­ton singer Ben Rea­son is off to study opera at Lon­don’s pres­ti­gious Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Drama.

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