Singers to listen for
For the past two years, the Rotary Club of Wellington has hosted a unique opportunity for the public to interact with outstanding young opera singers. Held at St Andrews on the Terrace, International opera singer Rodney Macann designs a program to suit the voices of the singers and enthral a capacity audience with highly accessible opera and lighter music excerpts. The event is now held in association with the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and, last year, Dame Kiri lent her personal support by donating one of her oil paintings and the cover of her shooting script for Downton Abbey to be sold by auction.
We aim to give our outstanding young New Zealand singers a platform to display their talent. Of our artists in the first year, Benson Wilson went on to win the Lexus Song Quest, and all the other singers were Lexus prize winners. From the second year, Jonathan Abernethy, now with Australian Opera, and Sydney mezzo Anna Dowsley were principal singers in the recent Opera New Zealand production of ‘The Mikado’, with the other two singers having been accepted into the prestigious Kiri Program. Part of the evening sees a charity auction for an important cause, and last year a total of $28,000 was raised for the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute for cancer and the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. The singers were sponsored by Lexus of Wellington.
Each year we aim to produce a memorable event, so the public can be assured of an evening to remember. The best canapes are provided before and after the concert, and the singers are available to talk to the audience about their music and hopes for the future. In 2017 we plan to have another concert in early November, which can be anticipated with great pleasure.