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Samuel McKeever

Voice Type


Home Town

Havelock North, Hastings

How did you become interested in opera singing?

When I was 17, my Nana brought me to a production of L’elisir d’amore by Festival Opera in Napier. Though I had sung in school choirs and shows, I had no interest in opera and was reluctant to go. However, the production made a huge impression on me, and I ended up joining Project Prima Volta, a youth opera initiative which was part of the show. It was there that I realised that there was nothing I wanted more than to be able to sing opera.

Performance highlights so far?

  • Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Festival Opera (2024) 

  • Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Festival Opera/NZSO (2023)

  • Understudy for Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Wellington Opera (2023) 

  • Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen with Festival Opera (2022) 

  • Verdi’s Requiem with Napier Civic Choir (2023)

  • Handel’s Samson with Bach Musica NZ (2022)


© Rachel Burt

Rhiannon Cooper.JPG

Photo © Charles Brooks

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

I’m looking forward to being able to fully immerse myself in the world of music to a degree I never have before, and working with tutors who have the knowledge and experience to provide a programme of training uniquely tailored to my voice. I’m also excited to work with the guest artists and instructors who’ll be visiting from overseas during the next year and a half, and establishing connections with the international world of opera.

What are your career hopes following TANZOS?

I hope that during TANZOS I’ll be able to develop a better understanding of my current capabilities.

Samuel is supported by The Freemasons Foundation


Hastings-born baritone Samuel McKeever completed his Bachelor's Degree in Classical Performance with First Class Honours at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music in 2021. In 2023 he was the winner of the Wellington Aria Competition, and in 2022 he was awarded third prize in the finals of the Lockwood New Zealand Aria. 

Samuel is a Project Prima Volta graduate, and an alumnus of the New Zealand Opera School. In early 2024 he performed the role of Mercutio in Festival Opera’s Roméo et Juliette.

Samuel's stage history includes the roles of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte (Festival Opera/NZSO, 2023), Enrico (understudy) in Lucia di Lammermoor (Wellington Opera, 2023), Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen (FO, 2022), and the Marchese in La traviata (WO, 2022).

Concert highlights include Verdi's Requiem (Napier Civic Choir, 2023), St. John Passion (Bach Musica NZ, 2023), Handel's Samson (BMNZ, 2022), Gareth Farr's Terra Incognita (Wellington Chamber Orchestra, 2022),  Messiah (St. George's, Thames, 2022; NCC, 2021), and the NZSO's 'Broadway Matinee' concert in collaboration with Project Prima Volta (2021).

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