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Joel Williams

Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship 2018/19

Friday 30 November 2018

Royal College of Music tenor Joel Williams has been awarded the prestigious Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship to support his studies at the RCM Opera Studio.

Joel studies with Ben Johnson at the RCM Opera Studio and is also supported by the Independent Opera Scholarship. He spent much of his youth as a boy-treble in Europe’s opera houses, in roles ranging from one of Die Zauberflöte’s Drei Knaben to Cobweb in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

As a concert soloist Joel has performed a broad range of repertoire including Verdi's Otello (Roderigo), Haydn's Creation, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings.  On stage, he has played Tamino in The Magic Flute, the Mayor in Albert Herring, and Count Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera.  Joel was a Young Artist for Opera Holland Park Young singing Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, an Alvarez Young Artist at Garsington Opera and a member of the Verbier Festival Academy.

The Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship is now in its seventh year and is offered by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation in collaboration with the RCM Opera Studio. Joel was awarded the 2018/19 Scholarship following a rigorous audition process, attended by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa herself.

On receiving the scholarship, Joel said: ‘There are few names that resonate quite so clearly across the international opera world than Kiri's.  To have her and her team behind me not only financially but with their mentorship is a huge boon in my last year here at the RCM and look to the real world beyond.’

Joel is making his RFO debut this December in Stravinsky's Threni. The following week he is performing Bach’s Magnificat with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. 

To find out more about opera training at the RCM, visit the RCM Opera Studio webpage