Tenor Manase Latu has taken out the 2018 New Zealand Aria in Rotorua.
From 43 entrants in the open category of the competition, 10 singers were selected for the final. Rachel Pines was second in the open category and Samson Setu came third.
Manase is a graduate of the University of Auckland, where he majored in classical vocal performance. He is a member of vocal group The Shades, Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and is an alumni of Auckland Chamber Choir and New Zealand Youth Choir. In 2018 he was a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera.
Manase says he remembers competing in the under 21 section and watching the open competition, wishing to one day have the chance to perform with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on finals night.
“To perform with the APO and win the entire competition is a bit of a dream come true. Representing my family and my little country of Tonga makes me incredibly proud, and being the first full Tongan to win this prestigious award is just an indescribable feeling. I am very humbled and blessed to have been chosen as the winner of the NZ Aria for 2018 amongst so many talented singers.”