New Zealand Opera has announced five talented young singers as recipients of Dame Malvina Major Foundation scholarships for the 2018 season.
Tenor Manase Latu, baritone Samson Setu and soprano Natasha Wilson have been named Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists for the coming year, receiving professional development including coaching, career guidance and performance opportunities during New Zealand Opera’s 2018 season.
London-based tenor Thomas Atkins is named the Dame Malvina Major Fellow and will receive focused repertoire coaching while in New Zealand to perform the role of Rodolfo in La bohème. Atkins is a former Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist and is currently participating in the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
New York-based soprano Amelia Berry appears in two roles in 2018 – Cunégonde in Candide and Musetta in La bohème. The Dame Malvina Major Foundation provides the Mina Foley Scholarship to support Berry’s return to New Zealand to perform.
New Zealand Opera General Director Stuart Maunder says New Zealand Opera’s 2018 season is focused on celebrating the New Zealand in New Zealand Opera, and that these five young singers are wonderful examples of rising Kiwi talent.
“In 2018 we’ll see more New Zealand singers return home for roles in our four mainstage productions than ever before, from artists like world-renowned Simon O’Neill,, to some of the most exciting talent emerging from training at the great opera schools.”
“I’m thrilled to be welcoming home the very talented Thomas Atkins to play our Rodolfo in La bohème, his in his mainstage debut with the company, as well as Amelia Berry, a regular on our stages and a star on the rise.
“The three artists named as Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists – Manase Latu, Samson Setu and Natasha Wilson – show great promise and I know they’ll benefit from this support through the 2018 season as they prepare to take the next step in their careers.
“We’re grateful to the Dame Malvina Major Foundation for this extraordinary support, as we work together to provide development opportunities for young singers,” Maunder said.
Dame Malvina Major said the Foundation’s relationship with New Zealand Opera was critical to its goal of helping young performing artists achieve their potential.
“Our partnership with New Zealand Opera through the Emerging Artists and Fellowship programmes and the Mina Foley Scholarship has given some of New Zealand’s best young opera talent access to world-class training and opportunities over many years.”