Place de L’Opera | Dame Kiri Hears and Sees Everything

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One of the highlights of the International Vocal Competition was the master class Dame Kiri Te Kanawa gave last Friday at the Theater aan de Parade. Were five lucky ones chosen to participate. Lady heard and saw everything, but let the singers plenty of room to shine the public.A report from Den Bosch.

Dame Kiri and candidate Makudupanyane SENAOANA (photo: Hans Hijmering).

Dame Kiri and candidate Makudupanyane SENAOANA (photo: Hans Hijmering).

It’s Friday afternoon at the International Vocal Competition in Den Bosch, and everything is different. The usual tranquility which candidates provide their appearances before the jury during the week has given way to a nervous tension in the corridors.

Where it is always still possible to find in the hall for one of the qualifying rounds a place it is now reducing. Lang opened the doors forming rows for inputs; who wants to follow good must come and see the front is obvious that a lot of people want to follow.

The applause thunders as the master of this afternoon, enters the stage: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will use its knowledge and experience of many decades to share with some of the participants in the competition. Her outfit says: business and elegant. Her well-played look shows surprise at the large turnout. If the first candidate takes the stage, she asks him conspiratorially: “Shall we just send them away?”

But that does not. Lady knows very well how much credit they have a public that knows her more than 45 years. She shows heart for the singers, respectful approach, and if it offers a lot of space to be heard. But it is also clear in its judgments.

Tenor Makudupanyane SENAOANA from South Africa is the first candidate. ”Sing, when I have nothing to say, I will send you away again,” reads the job when he starts.The singer brings a slightly perfumed version of ‘Un momento di contento “from Alcinaby Handel. He may be a long way wegzingen, but then there is the analysis of the master: “The tongue is the problem. He is for us the greatest singers enemy, “she says, after she completes reassuring:” It will fight you to the end, it still fights with me. “

Dame Kiri with Zinzi Frohwein (photo: Hans Hijmering).

Dame Kiri with Zinzi Frohwein (photo: Hans Hijmering).

The golden tip she has for the singer, took her once hundreds of dollars, they spend it on a therapist, as she reveals, but she informs him free with the singer and the audience. ”Did you wash your hands?” She asks sternly.And then comes the tip: finger down throat. SENAOANA sing a whole aria with his index finger tightly on his tongue. It’s a little uncomfortable, but the tenor sees the humor in that.

Canadian Emily D’Angelo sings Barbers’ Must the winter come so soon? “ The exam that follows is quite severe. ”Tell us what the situation is,” Kiri asks the candidate who does her best to tell you that. The master by asking: “Have you ever been completely alone, abandoned everything and everyone? Imagine that, and tell the audience in the song what happens. It’s a long winter here “, she stresses as the famous song fromVanessa sounds again.

"You’re not a mouse, but a mouse game," is the advice to the Dutch Zinzi Frohwein, after she has complimented her big voice. "Very lovely," she says, but she insists that Frohwein close to the character of Micaela in Carmen has to continue. ”How old is she? Sixteen? Then play her as sixteen. “

While Andreas Heinemeyer an aria from Faust sings Te Kanawa walks into the room.After a few sentences she steps on stage again, taking the singer to the arm back to pianist Hans Eijsackers and points to the score: “What we read here?” They appoint the pianist with a little too small nod to ‘slave’ is not very fancy, but Hans Eijsackers who knows better, let’s get over themselves.

Dame Kiri Hans Eijsackers and Andreas Heinemeyer (photo: Hans Hijmering).

Dame Kiri Hans Eijsackers and Andreas Heinemeyer (photo: Hans Hijmering).

No time given the public the impression that Dame Kiri not all the arias that pass in detail knows.As Iris van Wijnen “Ma quando Tornerai ‘from Handel’s Alcinabrings Kiri seems to witness every word. The hall is silent when the song of the Dutch soprano, and the Lady commends her for her vocal qualities. ”Really lovely, your voice is beautiful,” she repeats several times. But she wants more shine, a smile in the voice.

There will be a second aria. She indicates in one sentence what happens to Mimì in La bohème , and Iris van Wijnen a huge step vocal takes from Handel to Puccini.

After the five candidates each received their share of the wisdom and knowledge of Dame Kiri is up to the audience to ask questions. From the balcony who do not ask to understand, but the reaction of the audience is down to hear what the last question implies that afternoon immediately. And yes, a cappella Dame Kiri sings a short song.

And then it’s over. The star is still a few times for the big applause from the audience, and at last allowed even the dogs of Dame Kiri in the cheering sections. It is a curious kitschaccentje in the occurrence of a legend who also still good - and sometimes brittle - sounds. Even if they do not sing, everything happens on stage. To improper modesty she does not, but also arrogance plays no role in its performance. She is master, and that task fills them with an almost regal grace.


Place de L’Opera 


Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sings ‘Un moto di gioia’ (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Ravinia, August 2014

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