HAO Zhou's boyhood dream growing up in China was to learn opera under Dame Joan Sutherland and sing at the Sydney Opera House.
Aged 20, Hao came to Australia and took up a job washing dishes at the Victorian Arts Centre.
The Italian cooks sang Neapolitan folk songs and opera arias.
One day Hao decided to perform O Sole Mio in the kitchen with the response from management being instant.
Within days, Melbourne's media had termed Hao the "Kitchen Caruso".
Within a month he was invited to sing at the Australian Vocal Symposium under the tutelage of Dame Joan Sutherland.
Hao became a principal operatic performer with the Victorian State Opera and Opera Australia.
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In the early 1990s, he created the Three Chinese Tenors to perform as part of Australia's bid to win the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Now internationally-acclaimed, the Three Chinese Tenors have inspired audiences across Australia and South East Asia.
"People are amazed that the Three Chinese Tenors perform songs in Italian, French, German, English and Chinese, all in the one program," Hao said.
"We take our audiences on a journey of music, beauty and delight; our program showcases a wide range of traditional opera composers including Puccini, Bizet and Verdi. We also actively engage our audiences by performing humorous drinking songs including Brindisi."