"Modern classical" and "opera" is the summary of the programme for Edward Laurenson's concert at Forrest Estate Winery at Renwick on Friday.
It is a fundraising event for the Auckland singer, who has received a $50,000 scholarship to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London later this year. That money covers his tuition fees; proceeds from the Renwick concert will go towards his living costs.
Opera is at the other end of the singing scale Laurenson envisaged joining as a youngster, when he was singing along to music by bands such as Queen and the Eagles. "I always wanted to be Freddie Mercury. That's how I learned to sing," the 25-year-old says.
At Auckland Grammar, he took part in school musicals, joined a barbershop group and kept up his general studies so his parents would fulfil their promise to pay for singing lessons if his grades were good enough.
"When I was told I could sing, I started looking at the possible pathways and identified the areas that needed work. Acting was a big one, as was dance," he says.
But Laurenson ended up studying for a commerce degree when he went to Auckland University, although he continued having private singing lessons.
Logistics became another passion, and he says he would go back to university in a heartbeat to do his masters and PhD if his singing career doesn't work out.
However, there is no sign of that happening.
The Guildhall scholarship follows Laurenson's acceptance into NZ Opera's emerging artist programme.
Edward Laurenson In Concert starts at 7pm at the Forrest Estate Winery, Renwick. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased on the night at the cellar door.
- The Marlborough Express