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
By all accounts, 2009 was a remarkable year for the STKA. This was the 6th consecutive year of the Accademia, and the first year under the new banner as the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's energy and drive have brought further inspiration, ambition and distinction to the Accademia, and this year's performances were testaments to the excellence of the course.
Highlights from the recent season include an unforgettable concert at the Pellicano Hotel in Porto Ercole, followed by the annual concert in Piazza Solti, Castiglione, where there was the problem of not having enough seats for all the spectators. In contrast to the first year in 2004 where the square was almost empty, this time the Castiglione Municipality had to approve extra seating on the premises for next year and even a portable toilet.
The final performance was at the Andana hotel, with a concert accompanied by an enthusiastic and vocal group of cicadas. This only added to the atmosphere of the event, and many friends and sponsors were hosted.
This year's summer program included a roster of teachers that would be the envy of any international Bel Canto school. In addition to Kiri Te Kanawa, the Accademia was honored to have Dennis O'Neill and José Carreras working with students and repetiteurs. Additionally, the school welcomed new teachers for the first time including repetiteur Terence Dennis, Head of Classical performance at the University of Otago, New Zealand, John Ramster, Head of Drama at the Royal Academy of Music London, and Fabio Cerroni, Repetiteur at the Bavarian State Opera.
From the beginning, the purpose has been to make a real difference in the careers of singers and repetiteurs just as Sir Georg Solti nourished and mentored young talent. Every year teachers ask the students to give them feedback to help them understand how they can improve what they offer and to reach the ultimate goal of being the foremost Bel Canto Accademia.
April 2009 saw the launch of the first Solti Peretti Repetiteurs course. This is the first course of its genre worldwide. It was a privilege to have on the faculty: Pam Bullock from Chicago's Lyric Opera, David Syrus from the Royal Opera house Covent Garden and Jonathan Papp, Artistic Director of the Accademia Solti Te Kanawa and principal accompanist of Dame Kiri.