Prince Charles honours his canary

Prince Charles honours his canary


norman lebrecht

March 12, 2015

Kiri te Kanawa, who sang at HRH’s first wedding in a canary-yellow outfit, was among several musos acknowledged by the Prince at the Royal College of Music today. The point of it? You tell us.


From a never-ending press release:

HRH The Prince of Wales honoured a number of outstanding figures in international musical

life today at the Royal College of Music’s Annual Awards ceremony.

These included internationally renowned conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy and

acclaimed soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who both received their Honorary Doctorate from

HRH The Prince of Wales.

HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the Royal College of Music since 1993, presented

awards to several others who have made significant contributions to musical life, before

attending a short concert featuring performances from three of the College’s most

exceptional, prize-winning, recent graduates; violinist Agata Daraskaite, saxophonist Amy

Green and double bassist Rodrigo Moro Martin.

On receipt of the Honorary Doctorate, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa said: “I am delighted and

thrilled to be honoured in this way by the Royal College of Music, especially as the honour is

being conferred by HRH The Prince of Wales himself”. Dame Kiri also expressed her honour

at seeing, for the first time, her “recently painted portrait hanging in its home at the Royal

College of Music”. The portrait, commissioned by the Royal College of Music as part of

the Sky Arts TV series Portrait Artists of the Year, was painted by artist Laura Quinn and

now hangs in the foyer of the Britten Theatre, the home of the RCM’s International Opera School.

Vladimir Ashkenazy said: “It is a tremendous honour on this truly special and memorable

occasion to be awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Music of the Royal College of

Music”. Mr Ashkenazy, who returns this evening to conduct the first of two performances

with the RCM Symphony Orchestra, also said: “It has been a great inspiration for me to have

had a wonderful, continuous and long lasting connection with the Royal College of Music in

recent years and has been a pleasure and privilege to give young musicians insights across

the broadest of repertoire. To see them benefit from these experiences has been especially

gratifying. The students have great energy, musicianship, integrity and technical proficiency

and it is very fulfilling to see young people open themselves to the overwhelming richness

great music has to offer. Being a part of this orchestra’s future fills me with excitement.”…



  • Christy says:

    What’s wrong with honoring British or Commonwealth artists who made a difference in classical music? Dame Kiri in particular continues to be a vital part of the classical music industry.

    Norman – Do you disagree with classical artists being well known – or at least known – to the general public? I would think -any- true classical artist known to the public would be heralded and trumpeted by those in the industry. The alternative is Katherine Jenkins or Alfie Boe – fine crossover artists, but they should not be handed the field as the representatives of CLASSICAL.

    • Anonne says:

      You may be on to something. Anyone who is remotely a household name comes in for mockery around here…Rattle, lately Domingo, Renee Fleming, now te Kanawa. Probably others — while Joyce Di Donato, doubtless a marvellous woman, is simply not a name that would resonate on most public squares to the same extent, but seemingly is praised to the rafters in her every endeavour.

      There are agendas on this website.

  • DLowe says:

    Worth it just for her excellent recording of Otello with Pavarotti.

  • Una says:

    Maybe it’s the use of English, the way it’s written and needs a comma, and so I’ve misread this, but Kiri did not get up in a canary outfit for Charles’s first wedding. It was blue-based and very colourful. And the fact that she can still sing at her age so beautifully as I recently heard her sing Pamina’s aria at an awards’ ceremony, says it all. Congratulations to her. She made a difference and yes, good for the Commonwealth. Alfie Boe has sung in real operas as has Lesley Garratt. I saw Alfie in ‘The Pearl Fishers’, and Lesley in many more operas, but KJ has never sung in an opera, earns lots of money and a different ball game completely. You can’t compare the two but sadly she’s someone that’s the British public equates with being an opera singer.

    • Christy says:

      Thank you. Yes, I know KJ is not an opera singer. My point is – why criticize a true Commonwealth opera great getting public recognition when usually, the -only- “opera singers” the media report about are the fake ones. Isn’t it good to have -real- opera singers getting attention?

      I would think real, legendary opera singers would be heralded very publicly in every way possible to counter the media takeover of the crossover stars, but I often feel that opera singers who’ve managed to get some public recognition are criticized or mocked for it. And then, some of these same people bemoan the so-called death of classical.

  • Novagerio says:

    She’s definitely not a canary.