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Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship

Thursday 18 August 2016


Royal College of Music baritone Kieran Rayner has been awarded the prestigious Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship to support his studies at the RCM International Opera School.

A native of New Zealand, Kieran recently completed his Master of Performance (MPerf) under the tutelage of Russell Smythe, during which he sang major roles in the RCM’s productions of Albert Herring, Die Fledermaus and contemporary opera showcase Crime and Punishment

Now in its fifth year, the Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship is offered by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation in collaboration with the RCM International Opera School. Kieran was awarded the 2016/17 Scholarship following a rigorous audition process, attended by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa herself. Kieran is the first recipient of the scholarship from New Zealand and celebrated the award at an informal tea hosted by Dame Kiri, who congratulated her fellow countryman and wished him the best for his year ahead at the RCM.

Kieran has also been awarded the 2016/17 Victoria League Scholarship in Singing, which provides 12 months student accommodation at Victoria League House in London. The Scholarship is provided by the Victoria League in Auckland in association with the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.

On receiving both awards, Kieran said: ‘I feel honoured to receive not one, but two scholarships supported by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. I am delighted to be joining the Foundation family and it has been a privilege to connect with Dame Kiri, who is such an inspiration. I will really benefit from her encouragement and help – musically, technically, financially – and through important advice at the outset of my career. The Foundation’s support forms a safety net which gives me the impetus to fly even higher.’