Dame Kiri comments...
I have recently had three days here at the house with some intense work with Phillip Rhodes along with my very good friend and colleague Robin Stapleton. Phillip’s progress goes from strength to strength and now he is finding more subtle sounds in his technique. His voice is impressive and he works extremely hard on all areas. . he learns well and I always hope his dreams will be right around the corner.
A few months ago I visited Dennis O’Neill’s school (Cardiff International Academy of Voice) and listened to most of his singers. Once again they are all working very hard and I did hear some very nice voices - one or two were a little tired as there had been some traveling and concerts in the previous days. Some of the singers were already planning to move to opera houses in Europe in the young singers programmes and this seems to be the normal progress as they go from one opera house to the other gaining experience and languages. Dennis’ Academy is more of a finishing school and not one to come to unless your next move is to auditions or one of the international young people’s programmes.
Sadly I was not able to attend the Lexus Song Quest last year. I heard such good reports as the competition seemed to have a lot of very positive input. I must say it was interesting to have three boys...men ...as winners and a counter tenor in there too. Our student Kawiti Waetford was not placed and I was very relieved as I encouraged him to enter mainly for the experience of the high stress of such a wonderful competition.
There is nothing like being up on that stage and looking at that audience - looking back at you ..and for a split second you wonder if you should Sing or Run...this will give Kawiti a chance to be in the Lexus Song Quest another time ..he is still very young.
The Lexus Song Quest for 2014 looks to be another good year and another very special chief judge this time. The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation was very proud to be a significant supporter of the 2012 competition and to present the Master Classes with Dennis O’Neill that followed. He is a wonderful singing teacher and I’ve heard the attendance was one of the best ever...I would hope this will continue. . our young students need as much information as possible from the professionals who have done the hard yards. There is nothing like hearing how it all works from those who have performed at the very highest level.
I trust you will enjoy this newsletter and the updates on our various projects being organized. Finally, may I once again acknowledge the financial support we receive from so many people and the talent and dedication of our students. It is such a pleasure to be involved with these young people who work so hard to achieve their dreams.