Kawiti Waetford reports from Cardiff
Posted on 18 December 2014
I am proud to report that after my first year of study in the UK I graduated with a Masters degree in Advanced Vocal Studies from the Wales International Academy of Voice, and intend to continue a further second year of post-Masters study with Dennis O’Neill in 2014/15.
Our faculty for the third and final semester included: Julian Smith, Della Jones (Welsh soprano & coach), Gareth Jones (conductor & coach, Welsh National Opera), Anthony Negus (coach & conductor, and Wagner specialist), Joyce Fieldsend, Marco Canepa (Italian coach), Jacqueline Pischorn (German language), Glyn Mon Hughes, Simon Reece, Nuccia Fucille.
Our final semester assessments covered a range of written components as well as two major recital performances. These written components included assignments on critical analysis of operatic productions, auditioning skills and practices, biographical notes and personal marketing, and
identification and demonstration of future career pathways and goals. Operatic productions attended include Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Verdi’s Nabucco produced by the Welsh National Opera.
It was unfortunate that in May this year I suffered a severe antibiotic reaction that stripped my esophagus tract and inhibited me from singing for a number of weeks.
This had adverse effects on my vocal development at a time when I needed to be vocally at my best. However I managed to persevere through my final performances and assessments and am now fully recovered with my voice functioning as it should.
I am grateful for the continued mentorship of Dame Kiri who is in regular contact and generously shares her advice and time, with visits to her home for working weekends and the occasional afternoon of oil painting.
Most recently the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation (UK) has provided funding for professional assistance with essential visa advice and applications.
As my first year of study in the UK comes to an end, having graduated with my Masters degree I continue to work with Dennis through the summer period while applying for a visa to remain in the UK. I will return to WIAV for a second year of post-Masters study while auditioning for london-based programmes such as the National Opera Studio, as well as roles in smaller operatic productions and companies in order to gain essential experience and training in staged works. I have thoroughly enjoyed studying with Dennis and his faculty at the Wales International Academy of Voice over the past year; a year of great learning, challenges and positive growth – I thank him for everything that he has taught me. I would like to acknowledge and thank most deeply Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation for their continued support, and the support of the Ngarimu VC and Ma-ori Battalion Trust Fund, David and Corina Silich, Professor Jack Richards and the James Wallace Arts and the Deane Endowment Trusts. To my friends, wha-nau, teachers and supporters back home and abroad, for your unwavering and ongoing support I thank you all.