August 2011 – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Masterclass Week


Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Masterclass Week


August 15th-21st 2011

The academy hosted an incredible week of opera with students on the brink of international careers receiving tuition from soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, tenor Dennis O’Neill, and pianist Michael Pollock.  An incredible busy, productive and fruitful time was had by all:

Each morning masterclasses took place in which each of the visiting students had the opportunity to receive on-stage tuition from the masters.  This was open to the public, and attracted a healthy audience of young vocal students, local teachers, and adult amateur singers.  Three of the participating vocal students, and one of the young pianists, were local students who are currently studying at music colleges in the UK.

Opera Students

Lunchtime Concerts
Each lunchtime the students and stars took to the stage at the Jersey Arts Centre.  The first concert featured Dame Kiri and Michael Pollock performing an intimate selection of songs and arias for voice and piano, and launched the whole week off with the kind of superb quality the students would all aspire towards.  The following lunchtime concerts gave each of the students the opportunity to perform, putting into practice the lessons learnt through the morning masterclasses.

Concert 1

Finale Masterclass Performance
The culmination of the educational side of the week saw each of the students take to the Arts Centre platform in front of a packed auditorium, for a mixture of on-stage tuition and performances.  It was a fascinating evening combining elements of expert vocal tuition with some beautiful performances.  All of the Arts Centre concerts and the morning masterclasses were sponsored by RBS Coutts.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Opera Gala Night
The ‘grand finale’ of the week was held at the Jersey Opera House, handing over the stage to Dame Kiri and Dennis O’Neill, singing various solos and duets and joining side by side with many of the visiting students.  This remarkable evening brought a remarkable week to a fitting close, and the event was sponsored by Rawlinson and Hunter, raising funds for the Kanawa Foundation and the Jersey Opera House’s new studio workshop facilities.

Dennis O'Neill, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and students

(all photographs courtesy of Stuart McAllister)