Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Will King “clear winner” at Wellington Aria

Will King “clear winner” at Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria

Richard Greager adjudicator with winner Will King and runner-up Sophie Sparrow

Baritone Will King took first prize at the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria on Sunday night, with a performance that blew away the audience, according to adjudicator Richard Greager. Second place was awarded to soprano Sophie Sparrow.

Originally from Auckland, Will is currently in his fourth year of Classical Voice at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. He was recently selected as a 2019 Dame Malvina Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera and was runner up in the 2018 Becroft North Shore Aria Competition and third in the 2017 Dunedin Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria Competition. Will is a member of Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus, Voices NZ Chamber Choir and the NZ Youth Choir.

The Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria is organised by the Hutt Valley Performing Arts Society and was held at St Andrew’s on the Terrace over the weekend.

Richard Greager said he was thrilled with the line-up of finalists for the aria competition, who saved their best singing for the final after a weekend of giving their all.

“Will King was the clear winner for me and I’m sure the whole audience after his singing of ‘Possente spirito’ from Monteverdi’s ‘L’Orfeo. Singing of that musicianship, style and quality is rare in New Zealand and I and the audience were clearly blown away.

“He reinforced this classy performance in his second aria ‘Hai gia vinta la causa’ from Mozart’s ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ which was superbly sung and characterised. He once again showed a wonderful sense of Mozartian style that was quite different to the requirements of the Monteverdi. A worthy winner and a baritone clearly with the potential to make a fine career.”

Mr Greager was also hugely impressed by the quality of runner up Sophie Sparrow’s performances.

“She possesses a stunningly beautiful voice that is versatile and exciting. Her musicality and vocal agility and range are astounding and it is rare to hear a performance of ‘Tornami a vagghegiar’ from Handel’s ‘Alcina’ as secure and brilliant as this was. The audience clearly appreciated her talent and I was very happy to award her the runner-up prize."

Dame Malvina Major said the opportunity for these talented young singers to perform in a competition such as this is invaluable as they prepare for professional careers.

“Congratulations to Will, and to Sophie and the other finalists.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland