Grade 7 Student Hits Operatic Notes

At just 12 years old, Grade 7 student Richard Cunningham landed a lead role in the opera production Amahl and the Night Visitors.

In a matinee performance on Friday, Richard performed for Grade 6 students at the Christ Church Cathedral, 911 Quadra St. A Saturday night performance is scheduled for 7:30 pm along with a 2:00 pm Sunday matinee.

The opera was written by composer Gian Carlo Menotti for an NBC television presentation in 1951. This is the first time in more than 30 years the production has been staged in Victoria.

The Christmas classic about a young boy and enchanting miracles required the singing voice a young male tenor. Richard was recommended for the role by his singing teacher, Judith Dowling, who plays the role of the boy’s mother.

“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember,” says Richard, who has taken formal voice training for two years.

Richard doesn’t get nervous while performing on stage, but says he gets the jitters before he goes on.

Richard says his favourite thing about being a part of the show is the “experience of it all.”

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