Masterclass experience values as reward
Posted on 17 November 2011
So Carlos Barcenas, a Colombian tenor currently studying in Melbourne, was still stunned that such an opportunity had come his way. On Sunday one of the world’s most famous sopranos was holding a public masterclass with six students from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music when the moment came for Barcenas to perform. He sang Puccini's E lucevan le stelle from Tosca and Te Kanawa, currently on a tour of Australia, was blown away.
She got in touch with Barcenas the next day and asked him to join her on tour."She's been completely lovely with me," the 37-year-old said today. "She's been a really good person. She's supported me and been really nice."
Last night Barcenas took the stage at the Melbourne Town Hall as part of Te Kanawa's concert.
She was also joined by another special guest, NZ baritone Phillip Rhodes, and accompanied by pianist Terence Dennis, but it was the presence of Barcenas that was the story of the night.
Te Kanawa asked the tenor to sing the aria he had sung at the masterclass, and to sing it again when she performed at the outdoor concert in the Hunter Valley.
Barcenas, who recently performed in the nation's first indigenous musical Pecan Summer, and next year will take on the title role in the Victorian Opera's production of Master Peter's Puppet Show, said the exposure was invaluable. He also said Te Kanawa's praise served as a validation for his chosen career.
"When someone of the calibre of a worldwide performer says she wants you to sing with her, it's reassuring that you're doing something well and that you can be a professional singer in the world," he said.
A few hours before taking the stage, though, he admitted to a few nerves about the high-profile engagement. "I have to say, when I got the information I was like, 'Oh god, that's quite big.' You get nervous for a while."
Caption: Masterclass students – Carlos Barcenas back of group