Raphael Wong

Freelance Musician

The figurative road versus the literal...

Well, given my first and last update was a little over 6 months ago, it's about time to update you on all the goings on in the last few months! 

On the literal road...

I had the pleasure of being a part of the OA schools Victorian tour, performing the swing role of Tamino/Papageno. As a cast, we performed 113 shows across Victoria, South Australia and even a couple of shows in NSW. Touring can be tough job. 9am shows certainly took some getting used to, especially on 'Tamino' days! Thankfully I had fantastic colleagues who made the job pretty easy, and definitely enjoyable. It was a great learning curve. I think all singers wanting to get a taste of the tour life, I certainly encourage you to take on an opportunity such as this one.

 Credit: Albert Comper

Credit: Albert Comper

 

The figurative road to the finals and beyond...

The Welsh Male Choir Singer of the Year Competition took place at the end of August. It's not often that as performers, we get to compete with both classical and music theatre pieces and it was a pleasure to take part in the finals for the first time. Congratulations to the other finalists - Cristina Russo, Chloe Harris and eventual winner, Bronte Zemlic. You all sung wonderfully. The Welsh Male Choir also performed admirably, singing some excellent classics, along with crowd favourite Teddy Tahu Rhodes. Much thanks to adjudicators Graeme and Margot Wall, and David Ashton-Smith for your kind words and encouragement. 

93rd Herald Sun Aria Final

Another year, another final! I was extremely humbled to be announced as a finalist for this year's final, and even though I had the honour of competing last year, it still came as a shock to be heading to a consecutive final this year. I am performing alongside tenors Shanul Sharma and Michael Petrucelli, soprano Olivia Cranwell and counter-tenor Max Riebl. The lead up has been a busy but restful time, and I'm looking forward to what next week will bring. We've had a bit of fun with Simon Plant and the Herald Sun this year, as you'll see below. I'm pretty excited to be a part of a historic final, where for the first time in certainly recent memory, the guys outnumber the girl! As fellow competitor Michael said, there seems to be a "rich vein of form" amongst the gents at the moment, where, in a culture where singing is not a part of our 'lifestyle', it's somewhat encouraging to know that singers, male and female, continue to break through the ranks and are continually shining on Australian and international stages!

The Herald Sun Aria Final takes place on October 25 at Hamer Hall. You can get tickets here

 

 Credit: Herald Sun

Credit: Herald Sun

 Credit: Herald Sun

Credit: Herald Sun

 Credit: Herald Sun

Credit: Herald Sun

Italia, qui veniamo!

After 2 weeks of masterclasses with Valeria Esposito (BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Winner 1987), and with support from the Acclaim Awards, I, along with mezzo-soprano Shakira Tsindos, were awarded the Italy Opera Fellowship for 2017. This includes a 10 week vocal study programme in Italy in 2018. I am incredibly indebted by the Acclaim Awards board, supporters, sponsors and benefactors for their support of young artists, and am extremely excited for what the future holds, here in Oz and overseas!

 

The road is long, with many a winding turn...

The year doesn't end with the Herald Sun Aria Final, with a few more announcements to come! It's been an incredibly full year of music so far, and I can't wait to share with you what else is in store for the remainder of the year and beyond!

That's all for now. Until next time...

R