KIRI’S SONGBIRDS FLY
THE FIRST FLEDGLING opera stars have graduated “export ready” from The Kiri Programme, after a year of intense training.
The programme, which has just selected its second intake of students, evolved from an eightyear study by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and her charitable foundation that identified the key skills talented young Kiwis need to build a career in Europe or America.
The first six singers, all in their 20s, worked with a team of 18 tutors on traditional elements such as acting and vocal development, as well as motivational psychology, grooming, media training and business skills.
Now Katherine Mcindoe, Filipe Manu and Madison Nonoa have been awarded £20,000 scholarships at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Whangarei farm-raised soprano Eliza Boom is taking up a master’s degree scholarship in Manchester; Jarvis Dams won the top award at the 2017 Napier Performing Arts Competition, and Natasha Wilson has been cast in mainstage productions in Australia.
The UK’S National Opera Studio director, Kathryn Harries, was appointed to head the programme and gives progress reports direct to Dame Kiri. Describing the young singers as “vocal super athletes”, she reckons they’re now better equipped than many of the people they’ll be working with.
“They’ve been training in the same way as sportspeople,” she says. “The rest of the world is going to benefit from these fabulous talents.”
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa