Inaugural Kiri Programme an unqualified success
Posted on 25 July 2017
July marks the completion of the first year of The Kiri Programme (our personalised training skills programme with six outstanding young singers preparing for overseas study). And what a year it has been! The feedback from the singers, coaches and mentors confirms this has been an outstandingly positive and effective initiative.
The singers worked hard during the modules, often doing three or four coaching sessions every day, in addition to the group workshop sessions. They understood and appreciated the opportunity they were given to work intensively with leading tutors. Although we don’t claim all the credit for the substantial improvement that we noticed in each singer’s performance skills over the course of the year, there is no doubt that the work they have done during The Programme has contributed to their confidence, technical and artistic skills and an impressive string of successful auditions, competitions and achievements. It has been a truly life-changing experience for the singers.
Kathryn Harries commenting at the conclusion of the 5th module said “this programme has been an unqualified success and more than fulfilled its brief – it has been a privilege working with such gifted young singers on this excellent and far-seeing project. To be so well equipped with the tools necessary to survive, never mind prosper, is invaluable at this stage in any singers’ development. I, and my colleagues, have been very careful that we should not give these young artists false hope because it is a difficult and demanding profession. However, despite there being a perceived reduction in work opportunities world-wide for singers and musicians, there really is work out there for people with exceptional voices, outstanding musicianship and artistry, who arrive thoroughly prepared, whose languages are top notch and who maintain an amiable, professional and engaged attitude. Being a good colleague has never been more important.”
“I was curious to see how far the first six Kiri Programme scholars had come since I worked with them ten months ago. I can truly say that I was astonished by the huge journeys they have all made. Their vocal techniques, their individual expressiveness and their all-round self-confidence have developed to such a degree that they have totally justified the tremendous investment made in them. We went on to work for seven consecutive days with great focus and intent on all sides and – again – the progress was remarkable. They are a very intelligent, determined and diligent group of people who ask all the right questions and who take on board everything that they are offered.”
Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation deputy chair, Diana Fenwick, says The Programme prepares to enter its second year with optimism and a sense of achievement. “We would like to thank the generous individuals and trusts that have made continuing commitments to help ensure the best possible results. They see the Foundation’s programme as a credible vehicle for investment in the future of our young singers.”
Every year the group of young singers will have different challenges and needs, and for that reason The Programme can’t be run from a cast iron template. It will have to adapt and develop around the needs of the singers we have before us.
Plans are nearly completed for 2017-18 Kiri Programme. The selected singers will be announced in the next few weeks.