Over Queen’s Birthday weekend Frances Wilson was appointed
Officer of New Zealand, Order of Merit
Internationally recognised in the field of Bel Canto singing, Frances Wilson-Fitzgerald gives all her time to develop and coach talented young Kiwi singers – a work that has been acknowledged with her appointment as an ‘Officer of New Zealand, Order of Merit’ (ONZM) on Queens Birthday, 5 June 2017.
The director and cofounder of the Auckland Opera Studio, along with Dr John Peebles, Frances is one of the names behind many of New Zealand’s foremost young artists now on the international stage, including Marlena Devoe, Sole Mio (Sol3 MIO) brothers Pene, Amitai Pati, and renowned operatic tenor Simon O’Neill.
Frances trains and coaches promising young singers – including a large number of talented Maori and Pacific Island singers – and in addition provides performance opportunities in the way of operas and recitals, as a means to prepare them for a professional career on stage. The singers are paid for their work.
On her appointment as an ‘Officer of New Zealand, Order of Merit’, Frances said she wanted to thank the people who support the Trust. “Without their support, so many young talented singers would not be able to achieve great things not only in New Zealand, but on the global stage.”