Solti-Te Kanawa Bel Canto Masterclasses
Project location: ITALY, Various
Project start date: January 2005 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2005-30
Beneficiary: Accademia di Bel Canto
For the Accademia, 2008 has been a most remarkable year, commencing with a much acclaimed London Wigmore Hall concert, followed in July by a truly inspirational series of masterclasses by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Frederica von Stade. However the most exciting development has been the joining of two unique professional forces of Lady Solti and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa accepted to become an integral part of the Accademia, which will now be known as the Accademia Solti Te Kanawa. As part of her commitment to the Accademia, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has agreed to teach on an annual basis, and to perform in concerts with the alumni of the Accademia. She will continue to be an active part of the fundraising activities of the Accademia in attempts to create a project with long-term sustainability.
This year the overall standard of the participants was especially high, with some memorable performances in the final recitals. As a result of the successes of the Accademia, the Comune of Castiglione has made a commitment that the Accademia will have the use, for its rehearsing purposes, of Palazzo Centurione, situated in the old town of Castiglione, at the end of the ongoing restructuration works which should be completed by summer 2010. It is important that after so many years the Accademia finally has a building that recognizes the importance of its work in the preservation of the Bel Canto tradition in Italy and worldwide.
In December 2008 the Accademia released its first educational DVD, a testimony of this year's masterclasses with Kiri Te Kanawa and Frederica Von Stade. The DVD also contains brief interviews with Lady Solti, the Artistic Director Jonathan Papp and the Executive Director Candice Wood, that serve to highlight the importance of the work of the Accademia, its future projects and aspirations. The DVD was presented together with a CD of the Wigmore Hall performance of January 2008.
A testimony to the success of Accademia is a new found partnership with the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Programme. This year they sent two students from the programme to attend the Accademia.
The Accademia maintains regular contact with its alumni to monitor their successes. Many alumni have been engaged over the next season, which only go to reinforce the importance of the work that is being done each year at the Accademia.