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Government Employee's Star Set to Shine

January 25, 2005

Government Employee's Star Set to Shine

(Thorndon, Wellington) – Thirty year old Jamie Frater (baritone), an employee of the MetService Ltd., is preparing to leave his highly-skilled job as a computer Programmer to study opera at one of the world’s most prestigious music schools – the Royal College of Music in London where he has recently been offered one of ten places. A place was offered immediately after his audition despite the fact that Frater was unwell.

In addition to a place in the fifth year at the Royal College, Frater has been offered post-graduate positions at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. But there is a twist: Mr Frater does not have a degree; the three colleges have independently offered to waive the requirement of a bachelor’s degree allowing Mr Frater in to their Master’s level programme of study.

In 2004 Frater was selected as a Lexus Song Quest semi-finalist. The 2005 Lexus Song Quest will be the first since Lexus took it over from Mobil and it is New Zealand’s most prestigious award. Frater must also apply for other scholarships and hopes that businesses or individuals will come forward to assist with the school fees which are upwards of 50 thousand dollars. “Living in the United Kingdom is not cheap and the Royal College of Music is in South Kensington – one of the most expensive areas in London,” says Mr Frater, “I am hoping that some kind soul in New Zealand will be able to help me to achieve my goal of becoming New Zealand’s next great opera singer.”

2004 was a good year for Mr Frater who was awarded the Overall Best Performer award at the Wellington Regional Aria competitions as well as the top prize in German Lieder for Men and first prize in the Oratorio section. Frater has received outstanding reviews in all of his public appearances.

Frater has only had a total of four years of vocal tuition as a private student of Flora Edwards (head of Massey University’s vocal department). At eighteen Frater was accepted at the Conservatorium of Music but he left after two years without completing his diploma. After a ten year break, during which time he taught himself computer programming, he returned to his teacher.

“[T]he [Royal College of Music] has enjoyed unrivalled successes in all areas of vocal performance, and especially in opera where the […] School’s productions have been hailed in the international press as outstanding events performed at a higher level of artistic achievement than many professional companies.” (Recent UK Press Release).

Mr Frater has had other great successes in the past with his highly acclaimed software package Bersirc which was sold in 2003 for an undisclosed sum to interests in the United States of America. Bersirc is a program for using Internet Chatting and was used extensively throughout the world. The current owners of Bersirc have made it OpenSource software.

Frater plans to leave New Zealand around mid-July 2005 to begin his studies.

ENDS

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