First singer to receive our new £6,000 annual scholarship
The Richards Lewis/Jean Shanks Trust has launched an annual scholarship to be administered by the Royal Academy of Music for any voice type with special attention for an oustanding young tenor.
This scholarship, which is in addition to the other awards and sponsorships the trust offers singers at the academy, will this year go to John Porter, who will receive £6,000 towards the costs of his studies, as well as ongoing financial support where needed.
"The purpose and drive behind the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Trust is to provide young singers with the financial help that they need to continue their studies and I know Richard would have been delighted to see the charity established in his name putting its support behind a singer like John Porter," says Elizabeth Muir-Lewis, the founder of thes trust and Richard's widow.
John, who joined the Royal Academy of Music last year for a postgraduate 'year in' and who has been following the students on the first year of the MA programme, has now joined the academy's world-renowned Opera Course.
His singing studies began when he was 13 and have included both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He also has a substantial track record on stage and in concert including most recently in Donizetti's one-act comic opera Rita with Opera Holloway in London.
To see John in action, watch this clip of his performance on BBC TV Northern Ireland in February this year.