KIRI’S SONG­BIRDS FLY

North & South - - Four Corners -

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

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