Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation - Singer Development Initiative
Posted on 15 April 2016
In 2008 the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation initiated and funded a unique research project to identify key areas of improvement to help talented young New Zealand singers seeking to further their singing education and careers internationally, particularly in the UK.
The project was undertaken by respected New Zealand singer and teacher Jenny Wollerman who spent three months based in London visiting the major UK music colleges and institutions,interviewing teachers, current New Zealand students and emerging young singers, institutional staff and other professionals in the field, particularly those who had worked with young New Zealand students and singers.
The 112 page report, appropriately entitled ‘Kiwis Can Fly’ (which can be read on the Foundation’s website), highlighted the need for enhanced vocal repertoire coaching, the importance of building a performance profile and the shortage in New Zealand of coaching skills in vocal repertoire, languages and diction. It concluded that investment in these areas will improve overall standards and ensure that singers are better prepared when they head overseas.
Now eight years later, after much research and consultation with a variety of organisations and individuals involved with the training and development of young singers, the Foundation is building an exciting new programme which will provide a high-level, personalised, and sustained skills boost to a select group of outstanding young opera singers preparing to leave New Zealand for international post-graduate training and career development. Dame Kiri, the driving force behind the programme, will be closely involved, alongside prominent international teachers and coaches.
The programme will comprise a series of high-impact modules spread over a 12 month period. Each with a focus on specific skill areas, such as language, stagecraft, and career management and business acumen, together with intensive vocal and repertoire coaching.
The new programmes will complement the Foundation’s other activities in support of young singers, which include involvement in:
- Lexus Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Masterclassesand associated scholarship
- New Zealand Opera School – Kiri Te KanawaFoundation International Vocal Faculty.
- Kiri Te Kanawa Understudy programme at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden
- Scholarships at the Royal College of Music
- Individual support, often sustained through multiple grants over several years, for 16 New Zealand artists and 6 organisations.