January 20, 2024

A Holiday Greeting from Madeleine Hodgkin

Dear Friends of the Accademia

This winter newsletter comes from a longstanding supporter of the Accademia, and a very proud one. Since I became involved in this admirable project nearly twenty years ago I have seen almost 450 young singers and repetiteurs receive the Solti ‘teaching treatment’ and nurturing, which has benefited their careers. It has also benefitted us, the audience, in our enjoyment of what they have to offer. We have various stars who have arrived, and others in the making. It is so exciting to watch their development, and especially as they appear in the major opera houses around the world. They include, the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, Vienna, Berlin, Glyndebourne, La Scala etc., etc., etc.. Many of our alumni have won acclaim through opera awards as well as their performances at these major opera houses. Indeed, alumni are now returning to teach at the Accademia, bringing a final closure to the circle of mentor and protegee. Both Aigul Akhmetshina and Freddie De Tommaso will be joining us to pass on their recent expertise in the Summer, and for the Easter programme in Venice, Rodrigo de Vera from the Liceu in Barcelona makes a very welcome return. The singers and pianists have enjoyed instruction from celebrities such as Thomas Allen, Kiri Te Kanawa, Leo Nucci, Barbara Frittoli and Richard Bonynge, plus many more. 

We must not forget to give a shout out to the small but effective team who make the Georg Solti Accademia tick – the original Founders, Chief Executive Candice Wood and our Artistic Director Jonathan Papp, as well as our alumnus and now Associate Director, Jonathan Palmer Lakeland. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for what they do all year round to make the Solti events happen.

The Accademia has become like a family and I take pride in its achievements. Indeed, a close friend and GSA supporter told me recently that the Accademia gave him succour during his recent bereavement, and that he is looking very much forward to joining us next year for the Reps’ course in Venice, the Bel Canto course in Castiglione della Pescaia, and our Twentieth Anniversary celebrations at the opera house in Budapest in October. This brings me neatly on to what promises to be a glorious experience and commemoration of all that the Accademia has achieved over the past two decades: we are thrilled to invite our supporters to join us at one or all of our events during this momentous milestone to celebrate the Accademia's successes, to hear our current young artists, and to support the GSA's future. The main event will be a concert featuring alumni Freddie De Tommaso, soprano Hyesang Park, mezzo Aigul Akhmetshina, and baritone Paul Grant. I hope to welcome you there!

Meanwhile, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year!

Madeleine Hodgkin 

Chair of the Board, Fondation Georg Solti Accademia