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Dame Kiri says she has sung her last

September 13, 2017 by norman lebrecht

9 comments.


Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, 73, has told the BBC Today programme she will never sing in public again.

She said she stopped performing a year ago, but had not announced her retirement until today.


Comments (9)

  1. Alexander says:

    she is wise … to retire decently is the privilege just a few possess …. and what could be better to raise new talents using one’s own talent to help them to grow ? … she is adorable

    1. Chris Clift says:

      Good timing, just as the incomparable Dame Janet Baker demonstrated when she withdrew from public performance a while ago.

      1. Una says:

        Except Janet Baker and Josephine Veasey were much younger in female singing terms.

        Wonderful singer and a wonderful lady from a very humble background.

  2. Martain Smith says:

    Indeed! Her early years, in particular, were filled with stunning portrayals – Figaro Countess, Boccanegra Amelia, Michaela, Desdemona, Mimi.
    Unfortunately, microphones were unable to capture the size, bloom and beauty of her upper range – but at least hint at the thrills she could provide in the house!
    We certainly don’t have anyone with that vocal quality, accuracy, and stage presence on the circuit today!

  3. Marg says:

    A fabulous singer in her day whose voice drew me in to isten to opera. She has been doing a great work for some years now with her Foundation, nurturing, promoting and supporting budding young NZ singers. She has a lot to give and will continue to be active in the singing scene. Thank you Dame Kiri for years of glorious song.

    1. Una says:

      Yes, thank you. I heard that interview live on Radio 4 Today programme yesterday, it was lovely, and it was last year she gave up but didn’t want a fuss and wanted to go. .

  4. Chris Clift says:

    I was lucky enough (privileged even) to have played in the orchestra when this Kiri (as she was then) sang the role of Desdemona opposite Charles Craig’s Otello for Scottish Opera in the late 70s or early 80s. She had not long come to Britain, to complete her training at the London Opera Centre (at least that was what I understood), and she was young, talented and beautiful. Her performance of the Ave Maria towards the end of Verdi’s opera remains with me to this day.

    1. Una says:

      Seems I just missed this when I joined Scottish Opera Chorus!

  5. choristen says:

    Many, many years ago Dame Kiri sang Mimi with the then Victoria State Opera.At the post performance get together with the Prime Minister in attendance, when everyone else was sipping their champagne she brought the place down with laughter when she announced ” I’d love a beer” . A beautiful, gracious lady in the true sense of the word.


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