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THE Rudolf Kempe Society is bringing one of the country’s best-loved singers to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Soprano Joan Rodgers, CBE, is to give a four-day masterclass at the Kempe Studio at The Muses on Waterside, with the first one yesterday, Thursday, and others today (Friday 12th), tomorrow (Saturday 13th) and Sunday 14th August.

They form part of the Celebrating Young Voices series and the latter two will be open to the general public to give them a rarely available insight into the process of studying and performing.

Equally established in opera, concert and as a recitalist, Joan’s career took her to all the major musical centres in Europe and to New York.

In London she appears regularly at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and English National Opera, as well as at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera North, Welsh National and Scottish National Operas.

Joan received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award as Singer of the Year in 1997, as well as the Evening Standard Award for outstanding performance in opera as the Governess in the ROH’s production The Turn of the Screw. In 2001 she was awarded the CBE.

She will be joined in Stratford by pianist Gary Matthewman, one of today’s most sought-after Lieder accompanists and a regular at London’s Wigmore Hall and on Radio 3, as well as an alumnus of the Kempe Society’s International Young Artists’ Platform, in a repertoire consisting of well-known and lesser known Lieder by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Strauss.

Tickets are £16 for RKS Friends, £12 adults, £5 students, children free per day are available from the ArtsHouse box office on 01789  207100, or online at www.rudolfkempesociety.org