Young singers appreciate unique mentoring opportunity
Posted on 17 November 2011
Back in 2004 when the Foundation was created the original focus was naturally on raising funds. It did not take Dame Kiri and the trustees too long to realize that in addition to financial support most young singers need judicious mentoring, help with vocal technique and voice maintenance, advice about media and agents and stage craft.
As a result Dame Kiri sets aside time to mentor and coach small groups of singers at her home – usually in the company of selected professional colleagues who also share their knowledge and experience. Here is feedback from 3 New Zealanders who attended a recent weekend at Dame Kiri’s home...
“We just had an absolutely wonderful time out at Kiri's house this weekend. The combination of coaches worked really well and we got some very good intensive work done. I was incredibly happy to be introduced to conductor Robin Stapleton, whom I'm hoping to continue working with in London, and as always Peter Lockwood had insightful contributions throughout the weekend - hoping to go spend some time working with him in Amsterdam as well if possible. Also, Michael Pollock, though mainly playing this weekend, was very generous in taking us aside to work a few things through, and I hope to work further with him also. Thank you again to the Foundation for sponsoring these weekends”. (Joanna Foote).
“It was a really good weekend. The combination of Peter Lockwood and Robin Stapleton was certainly dynamic, and to say the least hard-core. We were given a good grilling, but of the most helpful kind, and having Michael Pollock supporting us on the Piano was also such a privilege, and made all the difference. Dame Kiri was as always warm and incredibly hospitable”(Claire Egan).
“The crew filming my TV documentary was with me for 8 days ending with the two day workshop at Dame Kiri's home. Much thanks must go to Kiri for opening her home to the crew during this time, I realise she is a woman that holds her privacy very dear and rightly so. It was a tough weekend with Robin Stapleton, Peter Lockwood, Michael Pollock and Dame Kiri tearing strips of all four singers. I truly believe that in order to get the best out of any coach simply put 2 or more in one room with a singer and turn a camera on! It was an exhausting experience but valuable none the less. It's times like those that I am so grateful to own a recorder, as I have so much information on that small device to decipher through, information that only a genius could retain in an hour. To give you an idea of it, just imagine four gym sessions squeezed into one, or better yet texting while riding a push-bike on the motorway...blindfolded!” (Phillip Rhodes).