Iain Beaton: From the supermarket aisle to the opera choir
Supermarket owner Iain Beaton took the plunge and joined an opera choir. Photo / Provided
He says he’s not a natural singer, but Iain Beaton was ready to take the Festival Opera stage before Covid destroyed his plans.
Rehearsals were well underway for Festival Opera’s The Magic Flute when the disappointing decision was made to cancel all performances.
Beaton, along with his brother Ross, have been involved with Festival Opera for several years, providing financial assistance, food donations and a packing shed for rehearsals on Ross’ property, which has been invaluable as it is a huge space for all performers. , orchestra and stage crew and means they can store props etc.
Beaton, owner of Greenmeadow’s New World, says it all started with a visit from Anna Pierard, co-founder and director of Project Prima Volta.
PPV is an inspiring program that helps young people discover and explore their love of opera.
“I really liked the principles of the program and was more than happy to offer my support. Although we sponsored many school and other groups, we really hadn’t done anything for the arts. It made sense to support them through the supermarket,” Beaton said.
“It’s amazing how they bring people together to achieve a goal. Some of the first people I saw are now singers in their own right.
“It’s an aspiration to see the development of these children, to find a path and follow it.”
Over the years, musical director José Aparicio had asked Beaton if he sang.
“I avoided it for a while but then I went to listen to the choir. I’m not a natural singer, for sure, the choir won’t sink without me, but when you stop thinking about it (singing) and let it go, it’s great.
“I’ve lived in a supermarket box all my life. I’ve lived in a very regulated world. I get up, go to work, etc., so revealing anything other than the supermarket persona is quite difficult. C was like therapy.
“Anna takes it off you. I guess as New Zealanders we’re not overly emotional, not the most emotional people on the planet…but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there- inside.
“I started working, got married, had kids, then the kids went to college, then I started a band. I always focused on the other stuff and then you start asking, ‘what else could I be?’
“You discover that you can do other things. It’s not luck, you just have to have the confidence to say, ‘I can do this’. You recognize the raw parts of the gift and build from the.
“I guess it’s the same for the PPV kids. It’s a matter of trust. I guess I started seeing it with my friends. I’m 58 this year. You sort of see your friends stop doing things and freak out about it lose it or lose it what are you waiting for I’m a good example of that starting things late.
“Although I didn’t attend the main event, I enjoyed being in the background of the choir, singing my part. I’ll be back next year.”