Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

Former John Paul College student wins Aria

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Rotorua tenor Frederick Jones took out the $20,000 Dame Malvina Major Foundation first prize at the New Zealand Aria competition in his hometown last night. PHOTO/TONY WHITEHEAD
Rotorua tenor Frederick Jones took out the $20,000 Dame Malvina Major Foundation first prize at the New Zealand Aria competition in his hometown last night. PHOTO/TONY WHITEHEAD

A former John Paul College student has impressed judges to take out the top spot at the New Zealand Aria competition.

Rotorua tenor Frederick Jones took out the $20,000 Dame Malvina Major Foundation first prize at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre last night.

He told the Rotorua Daily Post it felt "amazing" and it was a bit of a surprise as there were so many good singers on the stage.

He said it was a wonderful feeling to win.

Jones said he started entering the competition when he was 13 in the under-21 category. He then performed in the open section three times before heading overseas.

Jones has recently completed a Master of Arts in Advanced Vocal Studies with Distinction at the Wales International Academy of Voice.

He moved to Wellington to study when he was 18, in 2010, and lived there till 2014 when he went to the United Kingdom.

This was a real homecoming and was such a familiar place, he said.

He said he was nervous before heading out to perform and had never performed that aria in public let alone with an orchestra, so it was a bit of a risk.

However, once he was out there he wasn't nervous at all.

He said it was always an amazing experience to work with an orchestra, and he relaxed into it and enjoyed it.

Jones said he planned to return to the United Kingdom for further lessons and would attend auditions in February, which the prize money would help with.

The prize also provided $5000 towards costs to enter the Sydney Aria competition next year.

Adjudicator and Australian operatic tenor Glenn Winslade said Jones "rose to the top" of a field of outstanding contestants.

His fellow adjudicator, Sydney-based opera singer and director Luise Napier agreed that the calibre of the competitors was exceptionally high.

"There must be something in the water for you to produce such an over-abundance of talented young singers in New Zealand."

It was a "fantastic" outcome for the local audience, New Zealand Aria Trust chairwoman Jo-Anne La Grouw said.

New Zealanders took out the top three spots in the competition, with second place awarded to tenor Filipe Manu and third going to soprano Eliza Boom.

Mrs La Grouw said the finals night had been "brilliant" and was sold out.

She said the full Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra played beautifully, and the MC for the night, Helen Medlyn, was vivacious and had the audience in hysterics.

The evening also featured guest New Zealand artist Simon O'Neill, who performed an aria.

Dame Malvina presented the first prize to Jones.

"All the singers demonstrated such talent and potential - the future is very bright.

"I wish Fredi the very best as he embarks on a professional career, and will follow his path with great interest."

New Zealand Aria competition open class finalists:
First: Frederick Jones
Second: Filipe Manu
Third: Eliza Boom

Other results:

Under-21 Section
Class 1 - Own Selection
First Place: Lukas Maher
Second Place: Te Pumanawa Rogers
Third Place: Amaleigh Kaye Manktelow
Very Highly Commended: Whiuwhiu Mitai
Very Highly Commended: Rangitoia Rurehe
Very Highly Commended: Te Aiira Timoti
Very Highly Commended: Jasmine Hulton
Very Highly Commended: Isabella Carrington

Class 2 - Folk / Traditional
First Place: Te Pumanawa Rogers
Second Place: Lukas Maher
Third Place: Amaleigh Kaye Manktelow
Very Highly Commended: Jasmine Hulton

Class 3 - Sacred/Oratorio
First Place: Lukas Maher
Second Place: Te Pumanawa Rogers
Third Equal: Amaleigh Kaye Manktelow
Third Equal: Jasmine Hulton

Class 4 - Light Entertainment (Costume optional)
First Place: Lukas Maher
Second Place: Amaleigh Kaye Manktelow
Third Place: Te Pumanawa Rogers

Class 5 - Own Selection
First Place: Ruaeo Te Moni
Second Place: Clara Douglas
Third Place: Paeumu Gardiner Davis
Very Highly Commended: Teyna Kara
Very Highly Commended: Addie Peebles
Very Highly Commended: Nadia Cooper
Commended: Charles Adams

Class 6 - Folk / Traditional
First Place: Isabella Reid
Second Place: Addie Peebles
Third Place: Sinaea Hull
Very Highly Commended: Charles Adams
Very Highly Commended: Paeumu Gardiner Davis
Very Highly Commended: Clara Douglas
Commended: Tate Tisdall
Commended: Nadia Cooper
Commended: Katelyn Bedford
Commended: Tyla Pope

Class 7 - Sacred / Oratorio
First Place: Sinaea Hull
Second Place: Charles Adams
Third Place: Clara Douglas
Very Highly Commended: Isabella Reid
Very Highly Commended: Paeumu Gardiner Davis

Class 8 - Light Entertainment (costume Optional)
First Place: Isabella Reid
Second Place: Clara Douglas
Third Place: Sinaea Hull
Very Highly Commended: Paeumu Gardiner Davis
Very Highly Commended: Ruaeo Te Moni
Very Highly Commended: Addie Peebles
Very Highly Commended: Nadia Cooper
Very Highly Commended: Katelyn Bedford
Very Highly Commended: Tate Tisdall
Highly Commended: Charles Adams
Highly Commended: Tyla Pope

Class 9 - Own Selection
First Place: Jacob Siohane-Royle
Second Place: Anna Hamilton
Third Place: Grace Mc Carthy - Sinclair
Very Highly Commended: Jayden Walker
Highly Commended: Jemma Chester

Class 10 - Folk / Traditional
First Place Jemma Chester
Second Place Jayden Walker
Third Place Angelynn Jayasuria
Very Highly Commended Jacob Siohane-Royle
Highly Commended Hannah Flacks

Class 11 - Sacred/Oratorio
First Place Jacob Siohane-Royle
Second Place Grace Mc Carthy - Sinclair
Third Place Jayden Walker
Very Highly Commended Angelynn Jayasuria

Class 12 - Light Entertainment (costume Optional)
First Place Anna Hamilton
Second Place Jemma Chester
Third Place Hannah Morgan
Very Highly Commended Grace Mc Carthy - Sinclair

Class 14 - Duet
First Place Georgia Cutler and Hannah Morgan

Class 15 - NZ Composer
First Place Sinaea Hull
Second Place Hannah Flacks
Third Place Clarabell Taoho

Class 16 - Maori Song
First Place Anahera Waiariki
Second Place Ruaeo Te Moni
Third Place Teyna Kara
Highly Commended Te Pumanawa Rogers

Class 17 - Restricted Class
First Place Megan Goodwin

Class 18 - Duet
First Place Robert Brodnax and Anna Hamilton
Second Place Aidan Phillips and Ellis Carrington

Class 19 - NZ Composer
First Place Aidan Phillips
Second Place Keani Pora
Third Place Grace Mc Carthy - Sinclair
Very Highly Commended Jemma Chester
Very Highly Commended Lauren Karl

Class 20 - Maori Song
First Place Pasquale Orchard
Second Place Arapeta Paea
Third Place Manaia Witoko
Highly Commended Fraser Raukawa-Phillips

Class 21 - Own Selection
First Place Libby Johnston
Second Equal Aidan Phillips
Second Equal Tyrell Tamaki
Third Place Emily Dela Rue
Very Highly Commended Manaia Witoko
Very Highly Commended Ellis Carrington
Very Highly Commended Robert Brodnax
Highly Commended Hannah Ashford-Beck
Commended Megan Goodwin
Commended Jordan Betham

Class 22 - Folk / Traditional
First Place Libby Johnston
Second Place Ellis Carrington
Third Place Aidan Phillips
Very Highly Commended Emily Dela Rue

Class 23 - Sacred / Oratorio
First Place Hannah Ashford-Beck
Second Place Robert Brodnax
Third Place Libby Johnston
Very Highly Commended Aidan Phillips
Very Highly Commended Tyrell Tamaki

Class 24 - Light Entertainment (costume Optional)
First Place Libby Johnston
Second Place Emily Dela Rue
Third Place Robert Brodnax
Very Highly Commended Megan Goodwin

Class 25 - Own Selection
First Place Pasquale Orchard
Second Place Madison Horman
Third Place Mary Laing

Class 26 - Folk / Traditional
First Place Madison Horman
Second Place Kelly Harris
Third Place Pasquale Orchard
Very Highly Commended Mary Laing

Class 27 - Sacred/Oratorio
First Place Mary Laing
Second Place Pasquale Orchard
Third Place Keani Pora
Very Highly Commended Madison Horman

Class 28 - Light Entertainment (costume Optional)
First Place Pasquale Orchard
Second Place Aidan Phillips
Third Place Keani Pora
Very Highly Commended Madison Horman

Class 29 - Operatic Aria
First Place Manase Latu
Second Place Pasquale Orchard
Third Place Kelly Harris
Very Highly Commended Keani Pora
Very Highly Commended Mary Laing

Class 30 - Oratorio/sacred Song (Score optional for Oratorio)
First Place Keani Pora
Second Place Manase Latu
Third Place Mary Laing
Very Highly Commended Pasquale Orchard
Highly Commended Kelly Harris

Class 31 - Lieder/Art Song
First Place Manase Latu
Second Place Kelly Harris
Third Place Madison Horman
Very Highly Commended Aidan Phillips

Class 32 - Own Selection
First Place Manase Latu
Second Place Kelly Harris
Third Place Pasquale Orchard
Very Highly Commended Keani Pora
Very Highly Commended Mary Laing

Girl Under 10 Years
Winner Te Pumanawa Rogers

BoyUnder 10 Years
Winner Lukas Maher

The Maureen Potter NZ Aria AwardUnder 10 Years
First Place Lukas Maher
Second Equal Te Pumanawa Rogers
Second Equal Amaleigh Kaye Manktelow

The Maureen Potter NZ Aria Award10 & Under 13 Years
First Place Clara Douglas
Second Place Paeumu Gardiner Davis
Third Place Isabella Reid

NZ Aria Award13 & Under 16 Years
First Place Jemma Chester
Second Equal Jacob Siohane-Royle
Second Equal Anna Hamilton
Third Place Jayden Walker

Mike Steiner Interior Design Junior Award16 & Under 21 Years
First Place Manase Latu
Second Place Kelly Harris
Third Place Pasquale Orchard

NZ Aria Award16 & Under 18 Years
First Place Libby Johnston
Second Place Emily Dela Rue
Third Place Robert Brodnax

Highest Aggregate18 & Under 21 Years
First Place Pasquale Orchard
Second Place Madison Horman
Third Place Kelly Harris

Kowhai Award - Highest Mark in NZ ComposerUnder 21 Years
First Place Sinaea Hull

NZ Aria Award - Most Promising CompetitorUnder 21 Years
Winner Manase Latu

Adult Section

Class 330 - Baroque Classical Aria
First Place Filipe Manu
Second Place Madison Nonoa
Third Place Emily Mwila

Class 332 - Solo Own Selection (not an Operatic Aria)
First Place Samson Setu
Second Place Jonathan Eyers
Highly Commended Eliza Boom
Third Place Declan Cudd
Highly Commended Madison Nonoa
Highly Commended Katherine McIndoe
Highly Commended Olivia Sheat
Highly Commended Emily Mwila

Class 333 - Hamilton Civic Choir - Oratorio or Sacred Solo
First Place Elisabeth Harris
Second Place: Joel Amosa
Third Place: Eliza Boom
Highly Commended: Jonathan Eyers
Highly Commended: Clare Hood
Highly Commended: Alexander Garvey

Class 334 - Tony Rawlings Award Lieder Own Selection
First Place: Joel Amosa
Second Place: Frederick Jones
Third Place: Filipe Manu
Highly Commended: Eliza Boom
Highly Commended: Samson Setu
Highly Commended: Jonathan Eyers

Class 335 - Folk or Traditional
First Place: Samson Setu
Second Place: Emily Mwila
Third Place: Natasha Wilson
Highly Commended: Olivia Sheat
Highly Commended: Michelle Thorne
Highly Commended: Pasquale Orchard
Highly Commended: Clare Hood

Class 336 - 20th Century Art Song (in Original Language)
First Place: Elisabeth Harris
Second Place: Panayiota Kalatzis
Third Place: Manase Latu
Very Highly Commended: Jonathan Eyers
Very Highly Commended: Joel Amosa
Very Highly Commended: Filipe Manu
Highly Commended: Eliza Boom
Highly Commended: Imogen Thirlwall
Very Highly Commended: Frederick Jones
Highly Commended: Olivia Sheat
Highly Commended: Madison Nonoa
Highly Commended: Katherine McIndoe
Highly Commended: Blaire White

Class 337 - Vocal Duet
First Place: Manase Latu and Samson Setu

Class 345 - New Zealand Aria Heat
Finalist: Eliza Boom
Finalist: Panayiota Kalatzis
Finalist: Samson Setu
Finalist: Manase Latu
Finalist: Frederick Jones
Finalist: Elisabeth Harris
Finalist: Joel Amosa
Finalist: Clare Hood
Finalist: Katherine McIndoe
Finalist: Filipe Manu
Highly Commended: Jonathan Eyers
Highly Commended: Olivia Sheat
Highly Commended: Natasha Wilson
Highly Commended: Madison Nonoa

John Bond Award
Winner: Lewis Francis

New Zealand Opera School Scholarship
Winner: Samson Setu

- Rotorua Daily Post

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