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Met opens door to ambitious young tenor

By Leanne Miles

Acclaimed opera singer Kang Wang has been accepted into the Met Acclaimed opera singer Kang Wang has been accepted into the Met

An acclaimed opera singer, who completed his foundation studies at Charles Darwin University, has been accepted into the prestigious Metropolitan Theatre in New York.

Kang Wang said it was surreal to think that from September he would be going to the “Met” every day to work.

“It's like a dream come true but it's also only the start,” he said. “It will be a very long journey for me to reach my final goal as a singer, but being in this program at the Met is a great start for me.”

Born in Harbin, China, Kang came to Darwin with his family when he was 17.

“My parents are both singers and they gave me singing lessons when I was 16. I never liked opera until my father showed me a movie called ‘The Great Caruso’ starring Mario Lanza. I fell in love with opera right after that.”

It was while studying a Bachelor of Information Technology at CDU that Kang found his voice, further inspiration and the opportunity to perform for the first time.

“I took one elective vocal unit every semester. My teachers took really good care of me and tried to protect my voice from myself because I had a habit of screaming a lot when I sang,” he said. “They also encouraged me to perform, and that led to me meeting my current teacher and joining the Queensland Conservatorium to train as a singer full-time.”

Kang said the lessons learnt from singing teachers Kathy Banks, Paolo Fabris and Vivienne Tooms still resonated with him.

“I had two very inspiring moments while studying at CDU; one was when Mrs Banks told me not to try and become the second Pavarotti but the first Kang Wang. The other one was when Ms Vivienne Tooms told me in a lesson that I have a huge talent but without hard work it would not grow any further. I have never forgotten these two moments.”

He said he could not pinpoint a career highlight so far, even though he has plenty to choose from. He has performed throughout Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom since 2010.

 “I think the highlight of my career is yet to come,” he said.

Kang said the resources that he would access at the Met were unmatched anywhere else and being accepted would greatly enhance his career.

“I want to become both a technician and artist in singing and maybe one day to sing all the major tenor roles on the stages of the top level opera houses around the world.”