Morgan Fraser says he was never very musical growing up.
He dabbled in guitar, but for many years he didn’t even like the sound of his own voice.
It wasn’t until his mom encouraged him to take voice lessons that he began to realize his own passion for music.
Fraser recently came in second place in provincials for musical theatre in Victoria, though classical voice is his real passion.
The Nazko teen has been singing opera for the last three years, and has performed in several festivals and musicals, as well as with Opera Kelowna.
It was his third time performing at the provincials and his second time placing, but it was his first time performing in musical theatre. He says performing opera can be restrictive, which is why he chose to compete in musical theatre this year and not classical voice.
“In classical voice, there’s a general misconception that you’re not allowed to move. You’re not allowed to express yourself physically. And in musical theatre that’s one of the main things. So for me, I’m a very expressive person, and I need to move around when I’m performing,” he says.
Fraser, who plans to pursue opera at the University of Lethbridge in September, added when he performs in university, there will be more opportunity for him to perform how he likes.
Although he’s getting ready to pursue his dream, Fraser says the last three years haven’t always been easy.
“It was a bit of a long path. Throughout the months of grueling work, I was kind of close to quitting,” says Fraser. “And then something kind of snapped in me. I don’t know how or why or when, but it did, and all of a sudden I started liking it… It just kind of happened. There’s no real point at which I said this is what I want to do.”
He says although he likes opera, he avoids listening to it in his free time because he believes there needs to be some separation between what he does with his life and what he does in his spare time.
Eventually, he hopes to get to the point where his music is well known enough that people know his name, and when they tune into the Opera channel on the satellite radio, it’s his voice they hear.
Fraser likes the idea of being known, saying an added benefit of singing opera is you can be well known without everyone knowing what you look like—something he’d rather avoid.
Before he heads to Alberta at the end of the summer, Fraser with be performing as Mufasa in The Lion King Jr. from July 12 to 15 at the Chuck Mobley Theatre at Correlieu Secondary School.