Boy soprano follows in mum’s footsteps

Runs in the family: Emma Matthews and Brendan Matthews. Picture: Anna Warr
Runs in the family: Emma Matthews and Brendan Matthews. Picture: Anna Warr

Brendan Matthews grew up watching his mum perform at the Sydney Opera House – now the boy soprano will get his time in the spotlight at the 2017 Schools Spectacular.

Brendan, 12, from Hurstville Grove, is the youngest son of famous Australian soprano Emma Matthews.

The Year 7 student has been selected as one of 44 solo singers taking part in the annual Schools Spectacular held at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena in November.

“We are very proud of him,” Mrs Matthews said, who has won more Helpmann Awards than any other Australian opera singer.

“He watched the Schools Spectacular on television last year and he said he would like to audition this year.

“It is quite a gruelling audition process. It is about five or six stages and he kept finding out he was through to the next stage, so he has been incredibly excited.”

Mrs Matthews said her son simply loved to perform and sing, and he hoped to pursue a career in musical theatre in the future.

“He has always sung and danced around the place. We are a performing arts family and he has been equal to it. He grew up visiting the Opera House with me a lot for work and, before he spoke, his first words were sung,” she said.

“His love is musical theatre so you never know he could be the next Hugh Jackman.”

Brendan currently attends Newtown High School of the Performing Arts but will be moving with his family to Perth next year. His mum, originally from Perth, is taking up a position at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts as the head of classical voice.

Brendan said he was thrilled to be performing at the Schools Spectacular. “I’m so excited to be singing in the Schools Spectacular this year as a featured artist. This is a dream come true.”

The big event is now in its 34th year and will be held over two days on November 24 and 25.

It features the best performers from public schools in NSW and ACT including thousands of dancers, singers, musicians and drama students. 

The feature performers this year include 44 solo singers and 145 dancers.