Welcome to the Kiri te Kanawa Theatre

Welcome to the Kiri te Kanawa Theatre


norman lebrecht

August 22, 2019

The city of Auckland in New Zealand has renamed a thatre after the country’s most successful opera singer.

Kiri inaugurated the building back in 1990.

This is what it looks like.



  • Alexander says:

    Aotea was also a great name, all the same Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre is just a superb. She has been doing a lot for opera and classical music in NZ for all these years and she is the first who made NZ world operatic country …

    • Craig in LA says:

      Kiri Te Kanawa is certainly NZ’s most famous opera singer, but there were others before her, notably Heather Begg, Donald McIntyre, and the much under-appreciated Noel Mangin. It’s worth chasing down recordings of each. Inia Te Wiata had a varied career in opera, musical theater, and as a movie and TV actor, mostly in the UK. He was also an artist and carver who worked in traditional Maori styles.

      • Alexander says:

        thank you for adding to the list of NZ classical singers. And Kiri is also one of the most dedicated KIWI people who stands for Maori culture , so to name Aotea after her must be a good idea, I think.

      • Nick2 says:

        I had almost forgotten Noel Mangin. He was Baron Ochs in Scottish Opera’s Rosenkavalier in 1971 alongside Janet Baker, Helga Dernesch and Elizabeth Harwood – a superb cast. I believe there is no audio account of Mangin perming Ochs, other than the 1971 BBC recording made from the King’s Theatre in Glasgow still available from amazon on the Ponto label. The sound is as you’d expect from a live BBC relay of the day, but perfectly acceptable as a memento of that glorious Anthony Besch production.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Not much classical music takes place in Auckland, a city with remarkable scenery (in common with the rest of New Zealand). In this region Australia remains the indisputable cultural capital, at least in relation to Western culture.

    • JohnnyBL says:

      As a resident I would dispute that. Auckland is served by 2 symphony orchestras, several chamber orchestras, fine choirs but not a lot of staged opera. The quality of performances is high, the equal of what can be found in Australia, often superior

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Wonderful artist and person. Well-deserved!

  • Marg says:

    Not before time. She really put NZ on the map in the opera world She is greatly respected and deeply loved by Kiwis.