Junior Achievement’s talent contest ‘The Next Big Thing’ has become famous for giving young performers a unique opportunity to showcase their talents and helping them to achieve their ambitions as artists.
The latest to benefit is Christian Cooper who, after coming second in this year’s contest, has been invited to perform at the Tenors Un Limited show on Friday May 9th at the Villa Marina in aid of Junior Achievement.
Christian, who turns 13 on April 1st and is a student at Ballakermeen High School, said: ‘When I got the call from Junior Achievement just a few days after the contest telling me I’d been invited to sing at the Tenors Un Limited show it was a real shock. I was told that Junior Achievement forwarded a video of my performance at ‘The Next Big Thing’ to Tenors Un Limited and they chose me to be part of the show, so I’m really looking forward to it, though I’m a bit nervous too.’
It was hearing Andrea Bocelli sing Nessun Dorma that inspired Christian. ‘When I heard him I thought: “Wow, I want to be a classical singer like him”. I always like to go for something that’s a bit tricky to perform – I learn the words first, then the music – and I didn’t want to do a pop song, so for the final of ‘The Next Big Thing’ I decided on Time To Say Goodbye. The Italian section’s difficult but I wanted to show my vocal skills.
‘I’m not nervous on stage; so many people watching really motivates me and gives me a buzz. I just focused on a point on a wall in the auditorium and went for it.
‘The Gaiety audience was my biggest so far but later this year I’m going to Germany with the school to perform the lead role in Oliver! when we’ll be in front of about 2000 people.’
In between playing the ukulele, electric piano and guitar and spending some (but saving most) of his £250 prize money Christian has regular performing arts coaching. ‘I study acting, dancing and singing; singing is my forte, though, and my Mum, Emma and Dad, Jack, are very supportive of my ambition to become a classical singer.’
Junior Achievement chief executive Sue Cook said: ‘We’re thrilled that Tenors Un Limited were so impressed with Christian’s performance and I’m sure he’ll be a fantastic support act when the boys – Scott, Paul and Jem – make their welcome return to the Island on May 9th.
‘It promises to be a fantastic night and as well as providing Christian with an opportunity to showcase his talent, the show will also help to raise much needed funds to support the work of our charity’.
Tenor Un Limited Jem Sharplies said ‘It’s great to be able to encourage young singers. Christian’s enthusiasm and love of singing is obvious and being a local lad makes it even better. The Isle of Man should be very proud of him.’
Standard tickets for Tenors Un Limited are available from the Villa Marina box office £20 (tiered seating) and £25 (table seat), www.villagaiety.com.
£65 VIP tickets, which include a meet-and-greet opportunity with Tenors Un Limited, are available from Junior Achievement www.jaiom.im/store or call 666266.
Junior Achievement has also teamed up with the Sefton Hotel to offer a Meal and a Show deal for £32.99. Full details at jaiom.im/store.
Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzK9c7zPxWI to watch Christian’s Next Big Thing performance that delighted the audience, judges and Tenors Un Limited.