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Jordan Fonoti-Fuimaono

Voice Type


Home Town

Paharakeke, Hastings


Malie/Samatau/Salani (Samoa)

How did you become interested in opera singing?

My interest in singing opera grew when I followed my older brothers into auditioning for a Hawkes’ Bay-based opera youth initiative; Project Prima Volta. PPV is a programme that helps teenagers explore and develop their unique potential in the context of classical singing and performance. After 4 years in PPV, experiencing things such as back-up singing for Dave Dobbyn, or being in the chorus for a Sol3 Mio concert, or performing in multiple large-scale mainstream opera with internationally renowned artists, my ‘interest’ in classical singing turned into a love and a passion, which sparked an eagerness to continue studying singing in tertiary.

Performance highlights so far?

  • 2020: Festival Opera NZ - I Pagliacci (ROLE: Arlecchino) - first ever principal role

  • 2022: ‘Sharing the Dream’ Concert - important to celebrate someone special like Dame Malvina Major

  • 2022: Lockwood New Zealand Aria (Finalist) - because like them or not, competitions are a big part of being a young artist

  • 2023: Wellington Opera - Lucia di Lammermoor (ROLE: Normanno) - first contracted role away from home

  • 2023: ALOFA AROHA - Hawkes’ Bay Homecoming Concert - after accumulating years of knowledge, we, a group of Hawkes’ Bay-borns could finally showcase to friends and family what we have been up to.

  • 2023: New Zealand Opera - (m)Orpheus (ROLE: Ensemble) - the opera was set through a Pasefika lens including Samoan storytelling, traditions, clothing, dancing and language.


Rhiannon Cooper.JPG

Photo © Charles Brooks

What are you looking forward to about being part of TANZOS?

I look forward to really immersing myself in all that TANZOS has to offer, which is a lot. In 2023, I had the pleasure of observing the inaugural cohort having studied at the University of Waikato myself. Seeing all the amazing people that came to New Zealand - which they got to work with - and just how they were able to fully immerse themselves with very full schedules of coachings, lessons & stage/movement classes, it made me very interested in auditioning with the hopes of experiencing it all myself. Now that I have that chance, I plan on being on soaking it all up and taking a big leap in my development as a singer and as an overall performer.

What are your career hopes following TANZOS?

Following TANZOS, I hope to take what I have learned during my time in the programme and keep putting in that same work. To make some audition videos and begin connecting overseas in hopes of making an impression on a teacher, institution or artist programme.

Jordan is supported by The Dame Malvina Major Foundation


Jordan Fonoti-Fuimaono is a Samoan tenor from Flaxmere in Hawkes’ Bay. His journey towards singing began as a boy-soprano in his EFKS church choir. His interest in singing spanned from home to church and eventually into school, where he joined the school band and later in high school, took an interest in barbershop singing. In year 11, he followed his older brothers and auditioned for a Hawkes’ Bay-based opera youth initiative called Project Prima Volta. After 4 years in the programme gaining skills and memorable experiences; it sparked an interest for Jordan to continue singing at tertiary level.

Now a graduate of the University of Waikato, Jordan has gained his Bachelor of Music with Honours (First Class) and his Masters of Music in Advanced Performance. His 18 months in the TANZOS programme - under the tutelage of Nikki Li Hartliep - will cap off a 6 and a half year journey of intensive study in Hamilton. In and amongst those years of study, Jordan attended the New Zealand Opera School in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Performance highlights for Jordan include performing in concerts and staged productions as a solo and ensemble singer for Wellington Opera, Festival Opera, New Zealand Opera, Marlborough Opera Festival, Auckland Opera Studio, Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Napier Civic Choir and more. Competition success includes winning the South Auckland Vocal Competition in 2021, runner-up in the Hamilton Vocal Competition in 2023 and has been a finalist in the Lockwood New Zealand Aria, Wellington Aria and North Shore Aria Competitions.

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