Tenor Boyd Owen, runner-up in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, shared with Sydney Eisteddfod the many ways that Soprano Maria Callas has inspired his passion for Opera and Music. He also discussed how he came to choose Languir per una bella as part of his repertoire for the Semi-Finals.
What inspired your passion for opera?
I found my way to opera firstly though my love of music theatre. I would come home every night from school, listen to hours of music theatre and dream of one day being on stage. Then I must credit Maria Callas, who I discovered through a CD given to me by a voice teacher. I found her voice so captivating and completely thrilling that I wanted to learn how to do that and create the same feelings in people listening to me.
What inspired you to start singing?
It has always been a part of me since as long as I can remember. I only ever had one dream, to travel and sing, and I am very fortunate to be living that dream.
Who inspires you and why?
Again I would say that operatically Maria Callas sets a benchmark of musical excellence and dedication that, whenever I hear her, she makes me want to work and work until I can sing beyond what I ever imagined.
Tell us a little bit about Languir per una Bella and why you chose to perform it at the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship Semi-Final.
My voice type is Light Lyric, so Bel Canto repertoire and especially Rossini is home for me. Languir per una bella was one I did in a production earlier in the year and really displays the full breadth of the demands Rossini has. It has a high degree of difficulty, so if I can pull it off I will be very happy.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to/watch, and why?
Operatically I actually listen a lot to sopranos, I just love the sound. However it might surprise you to hear that I am an enormous fan of Celine Dion. I grew up entranced by her voice and was fortunate enough to see her perform for my 24th birthday. The quality of the performance and the way she connected to the audience honestly changed my life that night. I decided I will never settle for anything but utmost professionalism and quality in my work.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
I’m a fan of Leontyne Price when she quotes her teacher “always sing on the interest and not on the capital.” I think that’s a good motto in general life also.
What are you hoping to achieve next?
I try not to think too far ahead unless, I really need to plan logistically, as I get to tied in knots and anxiety in my head. I try focus on what I am ‘holding in my hand’ at that moment.